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Staples To Offer 3D Printing Services 85

An anonymous reader writes "Mcor and Staples announced today a deal in which Mcor will supply their paper-based 3D printers to Staples Copy Centers worldwide. Staples customers will be able to upload their 3D model and pick up the printed object at their local copy center. The rollout starts in The Netherlands and Belgium in 1Q 2013 and then opens up in other countries."
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Staples To Offer 3D Printing Services

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  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @11:07PM (#42138163)

    Vaugeries of "derivative works"...

    I imagine somebody who does miniatures gettng sued by WotC because the female spellcaster he digitally modeled and tried to have printed would compete with authorized minis produced by their partners, and simply being a mini of a popular type would simply be "too close to permit" in their opinion.

    The print shop would prohibit production of such items until the legal issue was settled, and in that time, legitimate self-made models would be denied reproduction.

    That's a very specific use case, but it could just as easily be miniature cars (like hotwheels), self-sculpted action figures of generic types, and other "hot selling" physical goods items.

    For some people in business, "derivative work" has nothing to do whatsoever with a specific item in a product lineup, and has much more in common with a nebulous and poorly defined "category" of items in a product lineup. That is why somebody making a miniature AC Cobra in the hotwheels form factor, using meticulously made measurements and shape editing, might be slapped with a cease and desist from hotwheels company, with them insisting on the name of baby jesus, gandhi, mother theresa, and all the saints that the model in question is a derivative work, and not an independent piece of authorship. (I am just picking on hotwheels rhetorically. No libelous intent is to be assumed here.)

    I have had similar problems when trying to get silly one-off posters printed at print shops, that were of my own design, and which were made with royalty free sources. The poster "looking too professional", as another poster earlier asserted, always resulted in failing to have them printed. When the printhouse assumes that you are abusing copyright, and you do all your work under a fictitious pseudonym like I do, you just get fucked. You can't prove you are said fictitious psuedonym to their satisfaction, and you can't easily prove that all the elements in your composition are indeed royalty free, without pulling out an encyclopedia of raw sources at the print house, and holding up the line.

    Likewise, a "really well modeled" minitature AC cobra getting 3d printed is going to be very hard to get printed, because of the litigation paranoia.

    The result is that skilled and talented people will be locked out of the service, because of false preconceptions that favor big industries that are all to willing to sue for even the slightest perception of a violation.

  • Exciting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @11:29PM (#42138315)
    I am not just writing exciting to say Good Job to Staples but this will be a huge step forward for more than all the tinkerers out there. This is a product that reaches out and touches my heart. I don't know too many people around me who could use this or could even use this. But if Staples stays the course they will develop their own market. I can see a situation where general public use first will be vanity items such as a personalized bobble head but then one day someone will need a replacement part and a company will say "Go to your local staples and pick it up, it should be ready in 45 minute."

    A simple example of this would be my Dyson vacuum(I love it) had a dumb little part die and they replaced it without hesitation. I called on Saturday and it came today. But that required my house be dirty for a week and that Dyson warehouse the part, package the part, and ship the part. Wouldn't it have been better if they had just printed up the part locally on demand? Not to mention that as they learn that some part will regularly fail they can instantly "ship" a redesigned part without having to dispose of or guiltily ship the lesser version.

    So I hope that someone installs a beer pipeline to the Staples executive who came up with this brilliant idea.

Loose bits sink chips.