Simply put, 3-D printing is a process of using a printer-like device to make a three-dimensional object from a digital model. A design is created with CAD-like software. Then the printer prints layers of materials until the design is complete. 3-D printing is already being used from everything from jewelry to rocket parts.
Recently Staples announced that they are bringing 3D printing to the masses. A new service called “Staples Easy 3D” will allow customers to upload their designs to Staples’ website, then pick up the printed objects or have them shipped. Easy 3D will be launched in Belgium in the first quarter of 2013 and should be in other countries shortly afterward.
While 3D printing at Staple may begin with something like creating cell phone cases, when people realize what they can do with it, it is sure to explode.