updated 03:19 pm EST, Thu November 29, 2012
Netherlands, Belgium first to get Staples Easy 3D service
Staples is going to offer 3D printing to model designers in some of its European stores from early 2013. Called Staples Easy 3D, the office retailer will allow customers located in the Netherlands and Belgium to print out full-color objects from their own files, and then to either pick them up from a local store or have them shipped to their address.
The service will use the Mcor IRIS 3D printer, which is claimed to have the lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer. Though the exact requirements of submitted files are left unknown, the printer being used will be able to create objects almost 6 inches high with a footprint of roughly 9 inches by 6 and a half inches.
Staples will be expanding its Easy 3D printing service to other countries after the initial locations are up and running, and could possibly appear in US branches. Pricing has yet to be revealed for the service, but it is likely to be charged on an item-by-item basis. Direct competitor Shapeways, for example, charges between $0.75 and $20 per square centimeter ($12 to $320 per square inch) per item, depending on the material used in the construction.