- Office supply superstore chain Staples is bringing 3D printing to a wider audience with a new online platform powered by Sculpteo.
- Customers can learn to use the technology and upload their designs online for Staples to print, or choose from a number of simple 3D-printed items at the online store.
- Staples was the first chain to sell Makerbot 3D printers for consumer purchase in 2013.
Staples is expanding the availability of 3D printing to consumers “without a CAD degree,” according to a report from Digiday, by adding an online service that will print 3D objects at 53 store locations. Powered by Sculpteo, the service will help consumers learn and use 3D printing, then allow them to upload their own designs or customize a selection of small objects at Staples’ online store.
A wider variety of customers will be able to use the technology, Staples says, offering a sample use case of a bakery that recently used 3D printing to produce custom wedding cake toppers. Analysts say 3D printing could follow the same adoption arc as digital photography, where everyday users used to turn to retailers with professional equipment to produce a final, printed product. IDTechEx expects 3D printing to grow to be a $20 billion business in the next 10 years.