The Economist reports that office big box store Staples has introduced a new 3-D printing service that dramatically reduces the cost of the technology:
. . . .[The] layers their machine prints are made of a substance that Staples has in abundance: A4 sheets of paper.
The process was invented by Conor MacCormack, an Irish aerospace engineer, and his brother Fintan, an electrical engineer. They worked with 3D printers but found the materials expensive. (Many manufacturers put a high markup on their bespoke printing materials, just as the producers of 2D printers do on their ink.) The MacCormacks therefore set out to make a full-colour 3D printer with exceptionally low operating costs. They call the result “Selective Deposition Lamination” (SDL) and they reckon the cost of the paper needed for it works out at about 5% of the cost of the materials for other 3D systems.
You can read the full story here.