BREAKING: Staples to Use Mcor IRIS in Copy Centers

By on November 28th, 2012 in Corporate, Service

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In a blockbuster announcement, Mcor, the makers of the IRIS color 3D printing system based on plain old paper, say they’ve struck a huge deal with print services giant Staples to supply 3D printing equipment for their numerous print and copy centers. 
This will obviously take a while to implement, so Staples Printing Division is starting the process by rolling it out in Belgium and the Netherlands in Q1 2013 and then “will be rolled out quickly to other countries” according to Staples. 
How does it work? Those with printable 3D models can merely upload them to Staples’ web site, where they will be transformed into full color 3D objects with Mcor’s new IRIS paper-based 3D printers. Printed models will be sent to your local Staples or directly to your address. It’s not entirely clear from the announcement, but we suspect the 3D printers will not be located initially in all Staples print shops, but instead centralized in some efficient fashion. Nevertheless, we also suspect the long-term intention is indeed to equip every Staples print center with this 3D printing equipment. 
The implications of this move are truly enormous, as it will go a very long way to opening up 3D printing for all. Staples is a massive brand with an astonishing capacity for advertising compared to any 3D printing company. Soon people will receive newspaper flyers explaining the new 3D print service. Perhaps we’ll even see discount starter promotions. In any case, many more people will know about 3D printing as a result of this deal. 
One issue facing Staples will be the influx of customers attempting to 3D print models that are in fact, unprintable. Staples and MCOR should develop some process or filter that ensures the success rate of printing is high, otherwise the service could be in jeopardy.
Why Staples? It’s obvious when you think about it: the MCOR IRIS is a PAPER device. Staples Printing Division is a PAPER company. It’s a totally natural fit. Staples staff are already very familiar with paper handling, which is really how you operate an IRIS. In fact, we strongly suspect Staples receives a decent volume discount on their paper purchases, making the production of 3D objects from paper even more economical. 
We’ve all had previous thoughts or written about the “Kinko’s” model of 3D printing. This is exactly that. Except it’s not Kinko’s.
It’s Staples. And it’s now. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!


  1. When a similar idea was mentioned here earlier in the year :
    it was somewhat dismissed or completely misunderstood. Read the comment following the article.
    I don't quite understand how it gets treated differently but anyway although this model can be a disruptor it doesn't take away from techshops and the like. Remember that this is 3d printing or additive manufacturing only and only one technology and material. The other workshops provide a whole range of technologies for various applications using a number of different materials. They also target a different demographic in the main.
    A range of technologies with various materials and finishes are used depending on the application. This particular model will provide a service to a number of people but not all.

  2. Is it too soon for this?

    This will make 3d printing much more mainstream, that is good. On the other hand will it slow down the growth of things like Tech Shops and Hackerspaces? Those places will always do more to promote creativity and innovation than any office supply chain but now maybe fewer people will be inclined to buy memberships.

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