Customs: "Staples Easy 3D" printing service in 2013

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by project9, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    Staples Announces In-Store 3-D Printing Service | Wired Design | Wired.com

    Interesting developments in the world of 3D printing.

    "The new service called “Staples Easy 3D” will allow customers to upload their designs to Staples’ website, then pick up the printed objects at their local office supply megastore, or have them shipped to their home or business — not unlike the photo- and document-printing service the company already offers.

    The project was announced today at Euromold 2012 by 3-D printer manufacturer Mcor Technologies, who is partnering with Staples to provide its new Iris printers for the service.

    The Iris printers employ an innovative method to generate objects, using reams of paper that are cut and printed while being stacked and glued together. This technique allows for a high-resolution layer thickness of 100 microns, similar to that of the MakerBot Replicator 2, but not quite as fine as the 25-micron capability of the Form 1.

    The new printers also incorporate the ability to add photorealistic coloring — something that more common plastic printers can’t yet achieve. But while the glued paper is said to have a wood-like hardness, the arrangement of the layered paper grain will require special consideration for certain design layouts (this can affect other types of 3-D printers as well). And while the company says it is able to be drilled, tapped or screwed, its material properties are unknown compared to traditional materials like real wood or steel.
    "

    Starting in Netherlands and Belgium in early 2013. Not sure when this will hit the US but it probably will open some doors, depending on if they're cheaper/similar to Shapeways pricing.

    EDIT - More info from another Wired article:

    MCOR 3-D printers use paper instead of plastic to make models. Their machines glue sheets of standard 20 lb. bond paper together while a knife cuts the cross section for the 3-D model. The machine repeats the process thousands of times until a solid paper model is removed from the build chamber. This week, they also announced the new MCOR Iris, which adds color printing to the specs, giving designers access to millions of colors via inkjet printheads.

    The paper output offers a much more environmentally friendly approach to printing than standard plastic machines — and the adhesive used is essentially safe wood glue. This also creates the advantage of not having to deal with proprietary resins or hard-to-find plastics — the printer can be restocked at any office supply store.
     
  2. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Beat me to it. Sounds way cool. Paper- not plastic.
     
  3. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    Color me intrigued. I mean, today you can get a slick 3d printer of some kind from about $500 to $1000. For those who don't want to invest in their own printer, Shapeways is a little pricey but a good solution and who knows what will happen to the pricing when the NY facility opens. I'd hope the prices would go down.

    But paper or resin, if the Staples option is cheap, that seems like a great option for little things and a quick turnaround. They say it can be machined/drilled, so I assume the pulp/glue would have a similar strength to an Aves Scuplt/Fixit or similar epoxy putty. Probably not as strong as resin but enough for average use and you can mold/cast if you need to. But full color 3d prints mean to painting needed and that's slick.

    EDIT - Just as a comparison, Mcor's other non-color paper printer Matrix 300+ claims the cost is $0.01 per cubic centimeter. The cheapest at Shapeways (ceramic) is $0.18 per cm3 while the standard materials are like $1.40 - $2. Now, I'm sure printing in color will increase the cost but it sure does sound like it could be a cheap possibility.
     
  4. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    Me too. Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. Venksta

    Venksta Render Project Creations TFW2005 Supporter

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    Have to say, looks impressive. The colors help hide the stepping effect. This be great for people wanting to print out MMORPG characters.
     
  6. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus Well-Known Member

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    Interesting indeed!

    Even owning my own printer, this might be something I'd use if my local staples got one..
     
  7. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout ...and I'll whisper "No."

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    I think Shapeways just got some competition.