Staples Canada is piloting a 3D printing Copy & Print service in its store in Guelph, Ontario, allowing customers and small businesses to bring in 3D print-ready files and create personalised products.

The trial will allow consumers to learn about the opportunities of 3D printing, and Staples hopes it can use the pilot to better understand how it can help commercial customers make the most of this new technology.

Seemingly a natural fit for an office products business that is looking to embrace new technology in order to keep pace with rapid structural changes that have disrupted its market in recent years, the move also highlights the growing trend for retailers to roll out new services to entice people into their stores.

Gogi Grewal, senior vice president of business services at Staples Canada, said: "Through our 3D printing service pilot, small businesses can now take advantage of the enormous potential that this technology offers, when and how they need it."

Staples Canada is also stocking the Afinia H-Series H480 3D Printer online and in ten stores across British Columbia and Alberta, mirroring recent moves in the retailer's US stores to increase its 3D printing equipment offering.

Afinia 3D printers can help customers print sculptures, toys, prototypes, and components.

Pete Gibel, senior vice president of merchandising at Staples Canada, commented: "Staples is known for carrying the latest technology, and 3D printers are the most recent example of our commitment to offering every product your business needs to succeed.

"For companies creating new products, 3D printing makes it easier to design and test new concepts and decrease the time to market."

Staples Canada is also looking to use social media to promote 3D printing and its new in-store services by giving away one Afinia 3D printer to a fan of its Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.