Ireland’s Mcor Technologies…has entered into a deal with Staples’ Printing Systems Division to launch a new 3D printing service called “Staples Easy 3D.” The service will be offered starting in early 2013 in the Netherlands and Belgium only, with plans to expand to other countries soon thereafter. It will provide full-color 3D models printed using Mcor’s full-color paper-based IRIS printer, which takes regular letter-sized paper and has a build envelope of 9.39 × 6.89 × 5.9in.
Makes sense, A4 paper is cheap, the models should be cheap. Mcor have an ‘all you can eat’ plan which looks like you lease the machine for approx. $12k for 3 years and you can print as much as you like.
Finally this has opened, but no website (that I can find), just rehashes of the following press release.
Can someone near Almere in the Netherlands please check this out and report back?
_Staples’ First 3D Printing ‘Experience Centre’ goes live, powered by Mcor Technologies
Mcor’s low-cost, full-colour, paper-based 3D printers enable Staples to make 3D printing accessible to everyone
DUNLEER, Ireland, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Mcor Technologies Ltd, manufacturer of the only line of desktop paper 3D printers in the world today announced that its IRIS full-colour 3D printers will be used exclusively in Staples’ first “Experience Centre” that has just opened at the Staples Office Centre in Almere, The Netherlands.
The Staples Experience Centre provides a hands-on 3D printing experience where consumers can learn all about 3D printing. Visitors will be able to interact with Mcor 3D printers, examine full-colour, paper 3D printed models, as well as attend 3D printing presentations and workshops. The Experience Centre is an important first step in the complete 3D printing service that the global office retail giant will offer using Mcor 3D printing technology, including Staples online 3D printing service, “Easy 3D,” announced late last year.
Mcor’s low-cost, full-colour paper 3D printing technology transforms sheets of standard A4 and letter business paper into solid, photorealistic physical models and enables Staples to provide easy and affordable access to 3D printing for everyone.
“Staples is the leading provider of office supplies and office solutions and 3D printing is a logical extension of those solutions for our customers,” said Oscar Pakasi, Business Development Director of Staples Printing Systems Division that is responsible for the development and design of the Staples Easy 3D online platform. “An accessible 3D printing Experience Centre where everyone can become acquainted with this new service is the first step in offering a complete 3D printing solution. The Experience Centre, combined with our new Staples Easy 3D online service, will provide everyone access to lifelike, photorealistic 3D printed products at an affordable price.”
“This is historic – it’s the first time a major mainstream retailer has provided 3D printing to the public,” said Mcor Technologies co-founder and CEO Dr. Conor MacCormack. “Staples Easy 3D and the Experience Centre, both using Mcor 3D printers, is a perfect way to introduce the world to the magic of 3D printing, the beauty of true colour, photorealistic models and the sustainability of the paper-based medium. I believe that this is the first step in defining a new era in 3D printing whereby the Mcor 3D paper technology will be the solution of choice to provide affordable, full-colour and eco-friendly 3D printed objects to everyone.”_
“They’re starting with one of the more affordable 3D printers on the market too – The Cube. At $1,300, The Cube is much cheaper than its $2,000+ counterparts, is WiFi ready and is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It prints objects as wide and tall as 5.5 inches and comes print-ready with 25 free templates to try out.”
I remember reading about MIT working on printing food. Seems like everything is going the printing route. Food, body parts, consumer goods.
Hi, so I went to Staples a few weeks ago, and learned a lot more about this 3D printing service. I don’t have time to do a well-written blog article so I’m just going to sum the most important things up listwise and if you want to know more then you can ask me of course. I also attached a picture with some examples of paper-based printed items.
They use the MCor Matrix 300 printer, which creates objects by stacking sheets of paper with adhesive. It is based on Selective Deposition Lamination, SDL. This is different from LOM (Laminated Object Manufacturing) in that 1. Application of glue is selective, so the support structure is not glued together, which facilitates much easier object weeding, and 2. The shapes get cut out of the paper by a cutting blade instead of a laser.
Input material is standard office paper. It can also be colored by a modified inkjet printer which prints through the entire paper on both sides. Color goes a few mm inside the object so it doesn’t come off easily. First the entire stack of paper is 2D printed, then the printed stack needs to be moved to the 3D printer. This does make the printer a bit bulky but still smaller than Shapeways’ SLS machines. The ink and glue used are non-toxic.
The properties of the printed object are woodlike, it feels like MDF but light like balsa wood. It feels very strong but inflexible, although with different adhesives objects can be made more flexible - they had no example of this though. I read that it would even be possible to incorporate living hinges. Accuracy is 0.1 mm, bounding box 17 x 26 x 15 cm.
Printing an object does seem to take a long time from what I have seen - they had a printer running. Cutting could be around 30-60s per slice, applying the glue 60s or more. Together with 2D printing it could be as much as 2-2.5 minutes for each 0.12 mm thick layer. A full-colored object could then take up to 35 hours to print! Watch a movie here: - YouTube
Because the support structure is not glued together you can create very intricate structures. One object they had was an open buckyball-like structure. You cannot create hollow chambers though because this will trap the support structure.
It is not recommended to use the objects for outdoor applications, although a water glass (SiO2) coating can be applied to make it water-resistant. This makes the object look wet but does bring out the color quite vividly. The layers can still be seen but nevertheless it looked impressive to me.
Costs will be about EUR 1 / cm3
They are as good as ready to launch their 3D printing service. This will include the possibility of opening a webshop, just like Shapeways.
The staff was very friendly and open but I think they were more sales-oriented, and I don’t know about their technical knowledge and experience. Might still be a bit underdeveloped.
All in all, it looks promising to me and I am looking forward to trying out their service.
Were there many customers using it? My experience of the public and 3D printing is the gee-whiz factor, wanting to print a novelty from thingiverse, but not being able to envisage or take the next step to making something themselves.
as part of the same machine, or you need to print a stack of paper, then pick it up and load it into the printer?
Appears to be a really good option for an online service; cheap, light, takes a long time.