New York — Staples is testing 3D printing services in two stores through a partnership with hardware and software provider 3D Systems.
The test stores, located in Manhattan and Los Angeles, feature what the No. 1 office-supply chain described as “an immersive 3D printing experience center” including demo areas and a photo booth, and are supported by a 3D Systems agent and Staples’ own copy & print associates.
Customers can use design software or bring in their own 3D print-ready files, and capture their facial images in the photo booths to personalize 3D products like figurines or to print personalized smartphone cases on 3D Systems’ hardware.
Items can also be printed off-site through 3D Systems and shipped to offices or home.
“3D printing offers enormous potential for small businesses, and by using Staples, they can print with the technology without having to invest in it,” said Staples’ business services senior VP Damien Leigh. “The test with 3D Systems will help us learn about our customers’ needs for a local 3D printing service, and how Staples can help them make more happen for their business through 3D printing.”
Staples was the first major U.S. retailer to offer 3D printers following last year’s launch of 3D System’s $1,300 Cube in select stores and online. The chain has since rolled out additional 3D printing hardware and accessories in a limited number of stores and expanded its overall product selection.