Irish technology company Mcor has secured a breakthrough deal with office supplies giant Staples that will see Staples deploy a new service that will provide customers with 3D printouts at their local outlets.
Staples is launching a new service called Staples Easy 3D which will allow customers to upload their designs to Staples’ website and then pick up the printed objects at their local office supplies store.
According to Wired, Mcor announced the deal at Euromold.
Staples is going to use Mcor’s Iris 3D printers, which use reams of paper that are cut and printed while being stacked and glued together.
Many believe 3D printing capabilities could be a harbinger for the next industrial revolution, allowing start-up entrepreneurs to prototype future products at a low cost.
Iris printers are capable of providing a high-resolution layer thickness of 100 microns and incorporate the ability to add photo-realistic colouring.
Staples Easy 3D will launch in the Netherlands and Belgium in Q1 2013 and will then roll out elsewhere in Europe. It is not clear when the service will be launched in the US.
Mcor, founded in 2005 by brothers Dr Conor MacCormack and Fintan MacCormack, has developed a printer that produces 3D objects using A4 reams of paper, at a cost of up to 60 times less than competitors’ products. In addition, it is an eco-friendly product, as its only waste is recyclable paper.
Mcor was a finalist in the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG)’s Company of the Year awards in April and recently secured a US$1m investment from the Irish Diaspora Innovation Fund, the angel investment fund headed up by technology entrepreneur John Hartnett.
Last year, it emerged that the Irish CEO and founder of copy protection giant Macrovision (now Rovi) John Ryan joined the company as chairman.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this article mistakenly valued the deal at US$25bn. This is in fact Staples’ annual sales figure for 2012 (or, US$25.02bn, if we want to be really exact). Thanks to reader John Breslin for spotting this error.