Staples is to begin offering 3D printing services to the public from early next year.
The 3D printing service, called Staples Easy 3D, will provide low-cost colour 3D printing, and builds on the technology services already offered by the office supplies company.
In order to get 3D printouts, customers will need to upload digital copies of their designs to the Staples Office Centre website and pick up their printed products from nearby Staples stores or get them delivered.
Staples will use the IRIS 3D printer or the Matrix 300+ from Irish company Mcor to print the designs.
"3D printing has been a very commercial application but this is the first opportunity for people to be able to be able to upload their content and have 3D printed content straight off the street," Mcor Technologies CEO Dr Conor MacCormack said. Products could be uploaded and printed using the service in a day, he added.
Staples will trial the 3D printing service in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg from January 2013, with a full commercial service to launch in the following months. "The goal is to be an online service with in-store capabilities as well by the end of Q2 hopefully," said MacCormack.
Staples stores in the three countries have been testing the €34,000 Mcor IRIS and €26,000 Mcor 300+ over the past six months to see what type of products they can produce.
Staples has yet to announce pricing for the service.