Sunday, December 02, 2012

Print your own 3D guns at Staples, soon

Soon, those who want to print their own guns, can do so at their local Staples. While that is said with a sort of snarkiness, it is possible the print a gun using a 3D printer, and on Thursday a new Staple 3D printing service was announced.

The new service, called Staples Easy 3D was unveiled at Euromold 2012 by 3D printer manufacturer Mcor Technologies, which is partnering with Staples and providing its new Iris printers to the office supply giant.

You probably can't use the output for the Iris printers for firearms. Unlike more common 3D printers that use plastic, Mcor's printers use reams of paper that are cut and printed while at the same time stacked and glued together.

With this technique, Iris printers can produce a high-resolution layer thickness of 100 microns, which is similar to the MakerBot Replicator 2. It is, however, four times as thick as the 25-micron output of the Formlabs Form 1.

Mcor says the output can be screwed, drilled, and tapped, and can also incorporate photorealistic coloring, which is something that the more common plastic printers can’t do yet.

Staples Easy 3D will launch in Belgium and the Netherlands in Q1 2013. It will roll out to other countries later, but no details were given on pricing or when the service will reach the United States.

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