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back to article Staples to offer in-store full color 3D printing service

Custom 3D printing will move one step closer to becoming mainstream next year, thanks to a forthcoming service from office supply mega-chain Staples. Called Staples Easy 3D, the new offering will allow customers to upload STL, OBJ, or VRML files to the Staples Office Centre for 3D printing, then either pick up the finished …

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That's... pretty cool.

Glad to see a company keeping up with the times instead of fading into obscurity (*cough* Yahoo *cough*).

If the service isn't expensive as hell, then even better! Though even if it is expensive, at least it will introduce the average person to 3D printing.

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Unhappy

Noooo

The queues are long enough without people coming in and asking for a 3D print of their dog...............

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Anonymous Coward

Oh yes, i can see the headlline now......

"STOP 3D printing!"

It's killing home origami.

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Gimp

This is a handy service for all sections of the community to use!

I must remember to send my slave into town so it can pop into Staples and print out it's new custom designed ball gag! And it can pick up some more bulldog clips too as we need to stock up now its "limits" have been pushed!

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Boffin

Re: This is a handy service for all sections of the community to use!

1. "Gimp", not "Slave"

2. A paper ball gag will not last long, unless you plan out making your gimp eat it

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Re: This is a handy service for all sections of the community to use!

A paper ball gag is going to end up in a soggy mess very quickly!

And bulldog clips are so tacky, too...

You should buy a decent rubber ball gag and set of nipple clamps from a supplier of affordable leather products which would be much more suitable and effective :-)

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Gimp

Re: This is a handy service for all sections of the community to use!

Oh I thought it was one of these plasticy 3D printers thingys - i didn't bothered reading the article in great detail as I was busy thinking up things I could print out for my slave. It could save me fortunes on dungeon accessories! urm whatever yeah.

And no, its not a gimp, its a slave thank you very much! I do know the difference! The gimp is the one that doesn't leave the basement and has had all its teeth removed, the slave is the one who runs arrens as well as being a bitch!

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Re: This is a handy service for all sections of the community to use!

@graham

kudos for not putting in your URL :-)

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I'm not sure...

Do they hand me a block of paper at the end and *I* have to cut away the unprinted parts? That *IS* the way that it looks in the video.

Unless the print head cuts around the print area on each sheet before adhering the next one, so that the finished model is separate but "encased" within the block, I'm just not sure how it will all work. It must be SOMETHING like that, but they really don't make it clear in their promo piece.

I mean, giving the average impatient person a paper brick and an X-Acto™ knife and saying "Go to it, chum!" just seems like a recipe for liability problems.

Still, the results ARE impressive as all get out and I hope it works out.

(I wonder if Staples will have restrictions on what they'll print? "No, sir... Staples will only output body parts that originate above the waist or below the knees...")

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Re: I'm not sure...

Mmmm..... Boobies

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Re: I'm not sure...

If they give you a block, that's like a plain brown wrapper... no need to censor or comment on the content. But I think the de-blocking will be done by minimum-wage monkeys in the print shop, just like the stapling and cutting used to be.

Paper makes it good for tchotchkes and presentations, less useful for stuff with material properties, but most 3dp larger than jewelery (which Shapeways has nailed) *is* tchotchkes.

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Boffin

Re: I'm not sure...

That is, in fact, exactly how this type of 3D printing (it's not new) works: a layer of glue where layers need to adhere is printed (think printing in adhesive), the next rap layer is placed, lines are cut in that layer where parts need to be separate, then colour is printed around the edges (to save ink, though you could go for fully volumetric colour if needed), then more glue and the next layer.

It doesn't just work with paper, you can use acetate, Tyvek, etc.

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The pessimist in me

can't see how this would work for engineering models.

For instance. With current plastic 3d printers you can make working differential gears in one go (i.e an input shaft, 2 output shafts and a case - you don't have to assemble the parts afterwards).

I like the 3d maps though.

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The pragmatist in me...

The pragmatist in me says "horses for courses". No-one buys a differential gearbox at Staples anyway....

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Re: The pessimist in me

The pessimist in me says Staples will still try to charge for a 3D construct that one of the minimum wage monkeys has clearly put a foot through at some stage of the process. Assuming anyone in the store actually knows how their 3D printer works, which the realist in me says is unlikely based on past experience.

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Handy Christmas presents

Saves buying the kids those dinosaur bones archaeology things from the museums.

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Mushroom

international shipping

Interesting Questio for the pub...

If I have an item printed in say the netherlands, and ship it to say the usa,

is the import duty that of a print , or that of the thing I have had printed ?

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Looks amazing

That head in the demo was a little creepy. Who was it ? -- Jimmy Hoffa?

I wonder if Staples will have a list of banned items. I can't see Games Workshop being too happy with this technology going mainstream.

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