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3D printer maker Mcor Technologies announced yesterday a new partnership with Staples to offer "Staples Easy 3D" -- a 3D printing service for customers. The service aims to offer ordinary people access to affordable, eco-friendly, high-quality and "photo-realistic" 3D printed products through Staples' retail stores.
While there aren't many specifics on the service, we do know Staples stores will be equipped with Mcor's IRIS printing system -- a commercial 3D printer known for its high color capabilities and low operational costs. IRIS uses proprietary inks, water-based adhesives and regular office paper to print solid, three-dimensional objects.
Admittedly, that sounds a bit like a sophisticated paper mache (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but it's likely the first step toward more robust 3D print solutions. Sturdier materials like thermoplastic resin and advanced processes like metal laser stintering could be the next steps forward.
The potential disruptive nature of 3D printing science-magic can't be overstated. Being able to instantly produce useful objects will change lives, economies and society as we know it. Given a high enough level of printer sophistication, a future where any person can download schematics to just about anything and have it printed at a local store isn't inconceivable.
Think about this: Today's 3D print systems are capable of producing parts for functional firearms. With the advent of 3D printable guns upon us, what happens to gun control laws? Will printers be regulated like guns? The print materials, perhaps? These are just a couple questions about a single topic -- there will be far more controversy than just guns. Take the Pirate Bay's interest in offering schematics to "physibles", for example. In the future, such a notions could make "piracy" more palpable than ever.
Mcor states that Staples Easy 3D will launch first in the Netherlands and Belgium early next year. Afterward, Mcor expects the service to be "quickly" rolled out to other countries.
The Google Nexus 7 has the distinction of being the first device to run the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system. It measures 198.5mm x 120mm x 10.45mm in size, weighs 340g, and features a 7-inch IPS display that is protected by scratch-resistant glass. The Nexus sports a 1280 x 800 pixel display. It runs a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, it also comes in 2 versions: 8GB and 16GB capacities.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display is equipped with a third generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, 256GB of flash storage, Intel HD 4000 Graphics, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and a built-in FaceTime HD camera. It sports a SDXC card reader, HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, MagSafe 2 power connector and a dual Thunderbolt ports.
The MacBook Air sports a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor that Turbo Boosts up to 2.8GHz, 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 128GB of flash storage and integrated Intel graphics. It is still extremely thin and lightweight at only 0.68-inches at the thickest part and 2.96 pounds. The MacBook Air carries a 13.3-inch diagonal LED backlit display, operating at 1440 x 900 with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A features a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 3517U Processor, 6Gbps SATA 128GB SSD, Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM. Ports and connectivity include two USB 3.0, a headphone jack, mini-VGA, micro-HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
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