staples 3d printing

Staples to pilot 3D printing in select stores

April 13, 2014

staples 3d printing

Staples will be testing out 3D printing

Staples has partnered with 3D Systems to pilot their 3D printing services in two stores – one in Manhattan and Los Angeles, putting the positive writing on the wall that 3D printing isn’t for hobbyists, it is literally the future, and it’s here.

Once upon a time, color printing used to be the most innovative thing in printing, but technology has rapidly caught up with retailers, and Staples is making a move that others will likely follow.

Both test stores will have photo booths that allow customers to scan in their facial features for use in 3D printing, and customers can bring in 3D-ready files.

The pilot stores will feature an “immersive 3D printing experience center” where customers can test out 3D items of their own. While the technology is still young, each test center will offer a 3D Systems employee to help guide customers through the printing process.

An obvious next step for Staples

This move is an extension of the company’s plans for 3D printing, after beginning to sell 3D printers last year to retail customers. Allowing them to test it in person sure helps to inspire customers to buy their own 3D printers.

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“The test with 3D Systems will help us learn about our customers’ needs for a local 3D printing service, and how Staples can help them make more happen for their business through 3D printing,” said Damien Leigh, senior vice president of business services for Staples, Inc.

Businesses are already using 3D printing for the obvious promotional materials, but to also save time and money, printing onsite (like at a conference), and solving the “out of stock” issues related to a company’s beloved swag.

Although it seems futuristic now, in a decade, it will be common enough to take for granted.

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Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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