Staples to Offer 3D Printing Services in the US
Polyga meets prosumer demand with new line of HDI Compact 3D scanners
Kodak and Twindom launch 3D scanning booth at CES 2018
SHINING 3D unveils EinScan Discovery and HD Prime Packs at CES 2018
Interview: Rocket Lab reaches orbit for first time, announces new advance for 3D printing powered mission
3D printing 10 times cheaper than machining for Moog Aircraft Group
Metal 3D printed engine parts flown on Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Super Hornet
7 billion Melrose takeover bid sends GKN share price soaring, metal powder business in cross-hairs
Danish Technological Institute to open $14.5 million 3D printing facility
GE ups stake in Arcam EBM expands additive manufacturing in Sweden
Manufacturing Technologies Association supports UK Year of Engineering
PrintLab encourages humanities 3D printing with new Classroom portal
Imperial 3D printing report calls for bridge between science and engineering
Interview: Raise3D CEO on how to run a 3D printing business
IDC forecasts worldwide spending on 3D printing to be nearly $12 billion in 2018
The Best 3D printers of 2018? 3D Printing Industry Awards nominations update
3D printed anti-pollution mask optimized with help from Sinterit and Autodesk
Kidney transplant using 3D printing marks a medical first in Belfast
3D Systems completes 100,000 medical cases, deal with Stryker for 3D printed medical models
The Leapfrog Bolt Pro 3D printer review
MakePrintable file fixing is a 3D printers best friend
SLM Solutions metal 3D printing brakes the most powerful car in Bugatti history
Local Motors receives billion dollar support for Olli 3D printed bus
DNV GL publishes first class guideline for maritime additive manufacturing
Staples to Offer 3D Printing Services in the US
Worldwide office supplies retailer Staples (SPLS) has been creeping its way into the world of 3D printing year by year. In order to test the 3D printed waters, the company began by offering 3D printing services in Europe and online usingMcors full color 3D paper printing technology. The partnership made perfect sense as both the 3D printer manufacturer and the office supplier are big fans of standard A4 paper. Then, Staples started selling desktop 3D printers, beginning with the3D Systems Cube in the United StatesandAfinias H-Series in Canada. The company has just announced that it will be taking another step into full 3D expansion by offering 3D printing services in its US stores, with pilot programs launched in two stores in Los Angeles and New York.
The 3D printing service takes the office suppliers already existent 2D printing services, which have been around for about two years, to the third dimension. Not only can you wander into a Staples store and have your brochures, large format posters, and save-the-dates printed on glossy paper or cardstock, but you can have the CAD files for your prototype, anniversary present, or replacement part 3D printed. As the companys US partner is 3D Systems, the stores will use 3D Systems technology to produce these prints, some of which can be handled in-store. For larger, more complex projects, the job will be outsourced to 3D Systems.
What the office supplier hopes to do to distinguish themselves from online service providers like Shapeways is to walk customers through the design and print process, step-by-step. That way, they can serve clients with already created CAD files, like engineers and designers, as well as those who lack experience in 3D design. Damien Leigh, senior vice president of business services at Staples, says, The way we envision this working is from soup to nuts. At the same time that Staples will provide these services, they also envision their new in-store service centers as mini Maker Faires where customers would get to see 3D printing first-hand.
The New York store has seven 3D printers that use six different materials, with prints ranging wildly in price depending on the size of a job. I eventually tracked down the Los Angeles location that is now offering the services, as well as live 3D printing demonstrations and all sorts of fun stuff. In Studio City, at 12605 Ventura Blvd, the Staples now has, on display and running, a Cube 2 3D printer. Also located on site, an available for use are the Cube X and the ProJet 460 Plus 3D printer, which is the machine used to make all of those colorful gypsum, sandstone-looking prints you see.
In fact, this Staples location will be obtaining a3DMe photobooth, with which to scan your head and shoulders and stick onto an action figure. Until then, they also have a Sense 3D scanner for purchase, as does Staples online and 200 or so other Staples in the country. In Studio City, you the Sense and iSense 3D scanner, for iPad, are available for customers to toy around with. I was also told that, in the near future, Staples will be the first US retailer to carry the ProJet 1200, the micro-SLA 3D printer for creating castable models used in jewelry making and dentistry. Still no definitive word on the eventual sale of the CubeJet 3D printer, though.
Again, I was assured that, if this Staples location didnt have the type of printing I was looking for, such as sugar, chocolate, ceramic, metal, etc., the store could use 3D Systems cloud service to have it printed by 3D Systems themselves. And the stores both have 3DS representatives temporarily on site, training the staff on the technology and protocols of 3D printing. All very exciting stuff! If Good Ol Neil were around today, hed say, Thats one small step for an office supplies chain and one giant leap for the 3D printing industry.
What was less exciting was the journey I had to go through to track down this LA store. Every customer service rep, and especially the 3D Systems person I spoke with, was extremely nice. What I do worry about, however, is the typical service Im used to having at chain stores. Tracking down the store took about two hours and I fear that it may reflect the experience offered by Staples,UPS, and other chain stores that have announced new 3D printing services. I first Googled staples los angeles 3d printing and, as youd expect, got results of the announcement, rather than tangible data. So, I searched via Google Maps, instead.
I called them up and, after being told to call back and speak with a Copy and Print specialist, was subsequently directed to another location with more information.
It went on like this for over an hour.
I was told to go to the Staples website where I might find the store I was looking for.
When I couldnt find it there, I chatted with a live customer service operator online.
Before trying to sell me some paper (full transcript below), he directed me to the corporate customer service line. I called the customer service line and the operator was extremely friendly in looking for the LA location with 3D printing services, but she, too, ultimately sent me elsewhere, connecting me with the corporate headquarters. Finally, after being on hold for about twenty minutes, I got the info for the Studio City store and learned all of the details listed above. After speaking with the 3DS rep, my excitement in the prospects of widespread 3D printing adoption was renewed, but only after a long, long trip.
Irreverently speaking, perhaps more impressive than the 3D print services that may be offered by the company is the breadth of hold music Ive heard today. I definitely prefer the electropop at the Santa Monica/Vermont store to the generic classical music at some of the others. I was going to make an audio experience of my journey, but I realized half way through that no one wants to listen to a series of Staples employees telling me to call other locations, interspersed with voice recordings and hold music. So, at the very least, here is the transcript of my chat with Arbind C.
The following information is a log of your sessi
on. Please save the log for your records.
Your session ID for this chat is 6781664.
System: Welcome to Staples Live Chat. We will be with you shortly.
System: For security purposes, please do not send credit card information through chat. Should credit information be required for a transaction, a Staples associate will contact you by phone for the required information.
Session Started with Agent (Arbind C.)
Agent (Arbind C.): Hello Michael, my name is Arbind. Thank you for contacting Staples Live Support. You will receive a transcript of this chat via email at the conclusion of this session. How can I help you today?
Michael Molitch-Hou: Hi, hows it going?
Agent (Arbind C.): I am fine.
Agent (Arbind C.): Thank you for asking .
Michael Molitch-Hou: No problem.
Agent (Arbind C.): How can I help you today?
Michael Molitch-Hou: I read an article today that said that Staples had launched 3D printing services in one of its Los Angeles stores.
Michael Molitch-Hou: And I was trying to find out which one
Michael Molitch-Hou: so that I could call them and ask them about it.
Michael Molitch-Hou: Do you know which one it is?
Agent (Arbind C.): I request you to contact the store directly as they will be able to assist you with this .
Agent (Arbind C.): I can provide you the contact number of the store.
Michael Molitch-Hou: thatd be great!
Agent (Arbind C.): Sure.
Agent (Arbind C.): Could you help me with the zip?
Michael Molitch-Hou: Well, Im not sure which Staples in Los Angeles has the 3D printing services, so Im not sure which zip to give you.
Michael Molitch-Hou: Sorry!
Michael Molitch-Hou: I was hoping to find out which store it was that had the services
Agent (Arbind C.): OKAY LET ME CHECK .
Agent (Arbind C.): I am sorry for the caps.
Agent (Arbind C.): Your request would be best handled by speaking with an expert directly. I recommend contacting our Customer Service Department at1-.They provide a service that will help you .
Michael Molitch-Hou: Thanks!
Agent (Arbind C.): You are welcome.
Agent (Arbind C.): I also recommend you to take a look on this paper deal as you may need this .
Agent (Arbind C.): Is there anything else I may assist you with?
Michael Molitch-Hou: No thanks. Thank you for your help!
Agent (Arbind C.): Thank you for choosing Staples Live Support. We appreciate your business with us. Have a wonderful day.
Michael Molitch-Hou previously served as Editor-in-Chief of 3D Printing Industry, he is now the Editor of Engineering . coms 3D printing section. He has covered additive manufacturing technology day in and day out since 2012 and has hundreds of article to his credit. He is the founder of The Reality Institute.
Most Read Articles from Last Week April 12
3D Printing with Airwolfs new Material
Tongue cancer patient receives best treatment thanks to 3D printing tech
Shining 3D Technology: pioneer in Chinese biomedical 3D printing
Diamond Specialist Uses 3D Printing for Machine Development
Chinese company uses 3D printing to inherit traditional handicrafts
The UK Welcomes an Integrative 3D Printing Event
Kickstarter launch for compact, hackable 3D printer
Design and Print the Doll of Your Dreams
Build a 3D printer, with another 3D printer!
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World gets 3D printed restoration