Office supply chain Staples has started selling 3D printers through its online store, and a number of its retail locations by the end of June. The store is stocking
the Cube 3D printer from 3D Systems
, a personal desktop 3D printer capable of creating an object measuring 5.5-inches in height, width, and depth from ABS and compostable PLA plastic.
The Cube is a "plug and play" 3D printer that works out of the box with little in the way of initial set-up or training required. Connecting to a PC or Mac over Wi-Fi or via a USB drive if Wi-Fi is not available, the Cube can take plastic supplied in cartridges and create an object with a layer resolution of 0.2mm, with colors dictated by the plastic cartridge inserted into the machine. Staples is shipping the Cube, complete with 25 free 3D files for printing, for $1,300, while additional cartridges capable of providing enough material for between 13 and 14 mid-sized prints cost $50.
The sale of the Cube is not the first time Staples has worked with 3D printers. Late last year, the company announced it would operate a print-and-collect
service, for creating full color objects using a commercial-class 3D printer, in a number of European stores in early-2013.