By: Jeff Dunn
3D printing may be hitting the mainstream faster than anyone initially thought. Today, 3D printer manufacturer Mcor Technologies announced that it has struck a deal with Staples to offer a new online 3D printing service.
Mcor says that "Staples Easy 3D," as the service will be called, will "offer consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others" the chance to print 3D objects. Users will upload their desired prints via electronic files to the Staples Office Centre and either pick up the finished product in a nearby retail store or have it shipped to their own address.
The service will utilize Mcor's IRIS 3D printer, which prints fully 3D models at resolutions of 5760 x 1440 x 508dpi. Mcor says that the IRIS has "the lowest operating cost of any commercial 3D printer," although no pricing details for using the "Easy 3D" service were provided.
Similarly, there was no word on an exact launch date for the program either, merely a tentative timeframe of "Q1 2013." The launch has only been confirmed for the Netherlands and Belgium so far, but Staples Printing Systems' director of business development Oscar Pakasi says that Staples Easy 3D will be "rolled out quickly to other countries," according to Mcor's press release.
While concrete details are still scarce, the service has the potential to help bring 3D printing tech to the masses, (hopefully) at a relatively affordable cost. The next evolution of printing has long intrigued many potential users, but deals such as the one described here could take the tech out of its infant stages for good.
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