Staples is a pretty big chain, supplying office equipment and supplies to a large portion of the planet. They sell 3D printers, too. But not everywhere.
According to Wikipedia, Staples has thousands of outlets in some 26 countries. We know that Staples has signed deals to resell 3D printers with certain notable 3D printer manufacturers. We took a quick look at multiple Staples online sites (as were loath to jump on airplanes to 26 countries) to see what’s being sold where.
Most of the Staples operations worldwide apparently do not yet resell 3D printers from any manufacturer. In fact, we found only three national Staples operations offered 3D printers.
In the US, where perhaps half of the current personal 3D printing market exists, Staples resells Cubify’s line of 3D printers, namely the Cube and CubeX machines.
In the UK, Staples also sells the Cube and CubeX machines, neatly located under the “3D Systems” category.
However, in Canada, Staples does not sell any 3D Systems equipment. Instead, we found this:
That’s right – Staples Canada appears to sell both the MakerBot Replicator 2 and the Afinia H-Series.
It’s all about licensing and exclusivity deals, we suppose. But it is curious why only these countries offer 3D printers. Could it be that the manufacturers are unable to supply additional stock? Several of the sites appeared to be out of stock, suggesting they are popular items.
In any case, anyone in almost any country can still order 3D printers from a variety of online or local suppliers. What Staples does different is directly address the public, who may have never seen such a device.