Office supply store Staples is now selling 3D printers for $1299. The Cube 3D printers are now available from their online store, and will start arriving in retail stores by the end of June.
3D printers use digital images to create a three dimensional object, from a variety of possible materials. The objects are created layer by layer, eventually forming a solid object.
The printers can be used to manufacture anything from decorative items to tools. The 3D printers sold by Staples are relatively small and are capable of producing objects that are 5.5 inches square.
As reported by BusninessWire.com, the Cube printers come ready-to-use. They can be connected to a computer through Wi-Fi, and are compatible with both Mac and Windows machines.
The Cube 3D printers sold by Staples also include 25 professionally designed 3D templates. Users can download additional templates or create their own.
Staples also offers 3D printing accessories, including the plastic used to create the objects. The plastic is available in a wide variety of colors, including glow-in-the dark and neon options.
The Cube printers come in several colors. The 3D printers on Staples’ website are currently available in silver, white, magenta, lime and light blue.
While the Cube 3D printers will be great for home and office use, scientists have used the technology to develop objects for medical purposes.
As reported by GizMag.com, researchers at Princeton University used a 3D printer to create an ear, which was fitted with electronics that recognize radio frequencies. They hope the ears will eventually be used by those experiencing hearing loss.
Researchers at the University of Oxford have created a material, to be used in 3D printers, that mimics human tissue. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the material is primarily biological. As the layers are build with the 3D printers, they create a mass of biological material that seems to be compatible with human tissue.
Future development and use of the material may assist in skin grafting, and repair of other damaged tissue.
Whether used for fun, or serious scientific research, 3D technology is fascinating. As Staples is selling the 3D printers for $1299, the technology is affordable as well.
[Image via Flickr]