Staples becomes first major US retailer to sell 3D printer

By on May 3, 2013, 1:00 PM

Interested in a fancy new 3D printer but don’t know where to start? Just hit the easy button – as in, Staples. That’s because the company today became the first major US retailer to start selling a 3D printer. You can now order The Cube by 3D Systems on Staples.com for around $1,300 or if you’d rather see it in person first, head to your local Staples retail store starting next month.

The Cube is one of a number of 3D printers designed with traditional consumers in mind. Specifically, this unit can print items up to 5.5 inches tall, wide and long in one of 16 different colors. The retail bundle includes 25 free design templates to get users started but the real fun is designing and building something all your own.

Perhaps the most widely known 3D printer is the Replicator 2x from MakerBot. This piece of machinery made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year and has since earned a reputation as the go-to device for home 3D printing.

The company recently partnered with open-source Android gaming console maker Ouya to let gamers print custom 3D console cases at home. The $2,800 price tag, however, may be a bit too much for some to stomach which gives products like The Cube an excellent inroad into the market.

Share value in 3D Systems was up four percent following the announcement while Staples stock was up three percent.




User Comments: 25

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Guest said:

Wasn't Best buy selling 3d printers a few years ago?

silence911 said:

And . . . the ink is going to cost more than the printer

1 person liked this | Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Or you can just make your own...

http://revision3.com/tbhs/3dprinter

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Or you can just make your own...

http://revision3.com/tbhs/3dprinter

Oh course Ben Heck would build one.

3 people like this | p51d007 said:

I've been in the photocopier repair business for 32 years. I can see it now...instead of getting calls for jams, smudges, streaks, squeaks....we'll start getting calls for "I printed a square and it came out a triangle". LOL

JC713 JC713 said:

And you will need software that can make 3d models and that is compatible with 3d printers. That will be at least >$100.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Sorftware? There is plenty of decent free software for 3d design

1 person liked this | Guest said:

You do not need any 'special' software to make the model. Almost all CAD and 3D modeling packages (including free ones like Blender or Google Sketch-up) can output an .STL file witch is the main file type used for these types of machines. Also, there are several resources where you can download and share models with other people such as thingiverse.com or shapeways.com. You are correct that professional CAD software is expensive, but there are a lot of free, open source options available as well.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

It is a nice gimmick for 99% of possible buyers. It can only be justified for people who design small things. Most of what this printer can print costs almost nothing to buy, so to get the money back from even $1300 it may take 10 years, or most likely never for a person who will print something on occasion. And then considering the quality and the time to spend doing that...

I don't think this is a practical future. Instead, we shall see many local shops with full-size, cutting-edge 3D printers from which one can order any stuff printed and then collect it. That will make sense...

Hallo! Is my order still printing? - What did you order? - A 50" dildo. ? Yeah, it's still printing... unusual size for a,... sir, ahem, it looks more like a,... bazooka. Are you aware of the regulation for weapon printing? - It's for personal use! Yeah...

Guest said:

It really doesn't they come in spindles of a plastic like material.

Guest said:

If the price drops under $500, people will be all over it.

Guest said:

So this is a nice PR fluff piece. What they don't tell you is that the cartridge is following the printer ink market. The cartridge is $100 to refill. Or $100 for every other color you want. I am sure there is something that prohibits reloading with cheaper material. So they are charging $100 for about $5 worth of plastic. Not to mention 3d systems had been suing a bunch of little 3d printer guys lately. That alone guarantees that I will Never spend a dime with this company. DB's supreme.

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

Why the hate? I think it's pretty cool. If ya don't want it, or ya can't afford it (me :p ) then don't buy it

Railman said:

I want one. Very useful for model makers. You could make components which would be difficult to produce in traditional methods. For example scale model of the electrical gear under a locomotive. You could even produce scale models of real persons to populate a model railway.

fimbles fimbles said:

Want one badly. but still slightly too expensive for me atm.

Guest said:

Hope people don't start to print parts on these 3D-printers that they can later assemble into replica weapons such as guns.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

We need Wozniak to make a comeback and design us some "printer interfaces" for these CAD programs.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

I work at staples and all us easy techs at my store are talking about getting one from our dotcom. We wanna make custom phone and electronic cases, and some raspberry pi case's and what not.

Guest said:

Guns require a barrel that can withstand massive pressures, I seriously doubt that the plastic used in these printers is anywhere near the strength you would need for a gun. I could make a gun from a metal pipe and some gasoline that would be far more durable. You can make a pipe bomb from things at your hardware store. The truth is that most people have no interest in causing others harm and the media makes us feel like everyone we don't know is a psychopath killer. Besides, it really isn't that hard to purchase a gun and if you're a criminal then you surely know other criminals who can easily get you an illegal weapon. In the end someone wanting to cause harm will find a way to do it, it isn't the tools (or weapons) that you should be worried about, it is the people who are choosing to use them for evil.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I seriously doubt that the plastic used in these printers is anywhere near the strength you would need for a gun. .

[link]

LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

This is both extremely entertaining and thought provoking :eek:

avioza said:

I want one. Very useful for model makers. You could make components which would be difficult to produce in traditional methods. For example scale model of the electrical gear under a locomotive. You could even produce scale models of real persons to populate a model railway.

Yeah, I would have a sudden interest in 3d modeling. Miniatures for RPG's and tabletop games. Print it, prime it, paint it. I don't have enough time anymore to utilize it enough to justify $1300 but it would be fun.

Dustyn Dustyn said:

Amazing possibilities! Extremely unfortunate that there are bare foot red neck bango playing hicks who would want to use this type of technology to create weapons.... :|

OortCloud said:

We can only begin to imagine the amount of waste plastic these things will produce if they become popular. The already pretty impressive Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be filled with billions of failed attempts and useless trinkets produced by people because they can now spam plastic from their homes.

Guest said:

Check out Blender.

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