updated 05:43 am EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Variety of 3D printers usable in-store in pilot 3D printing scheme
Office supplies retailer Staples has started to offer access to 3D printing through some of its stores, alongside its existing traditional printing services. Two branches, located in New York and Los Angeles, are now providing the service as part of a pilot program, which allows customers to bring in their own 3D file or a design for creation at the store itself.
Customers can bring in their file and print using up to six types of material on a choice of up to seven different kinds of printer, reports Bloomberg. Smaller projects will be printed within the store, though bigger jobs will need to be outsourced to printing partner 3D Systems for completion. The difficulty of creating a source file in the first place will also be addressed, as the retailer plans to train its graphic design consultants to help customers with 3D work. Senior vice president of business services Damien Leigh hopes to make it an all-encompassing service, claiming "the way we envision this working is from soup to nuts."
3D printing display at Staples
The exact costs involved will vary from object to object, though it is suggested a smaller object with little in the way of employee assistance will cost a few dollars, while a 3D-printed guitar could cost thousands of dollars.
This is not the first time that Staples has worked with 3D printing. In 2013, some European stores started to provide 3D printing services to customers, with customers able to either pick up the objects at the store or have it delivered. The company also sells 3D printers in its stores, with the Cube from 3D Systems available from the retailer from May last year starting from $1,300.