First it sold select 3D printers in stores, then it sold print-by-mail services in Europe -- now Staples is offering US customers a chance to print objects on-demand and on-site. The company's launch event is focusing on the fun side of 3D printing, serving up action figures and personalized Starfleet officers to walk-in customers, but Staples says it hopes the service will catch the attention of small businesses.

Customers will have access to up to seven kinds of printers and six types of materials in store, including the Cube and Cube X models Staples already sells. Larger jobs will be farmed out to 3D Systems -- the company behind the 3D printed guitar we saw at Engadget Expand last year. Don't have the modeling chops to prepare your on 3D-printable file? Staples has that covered too, and is planning to train graphic design consultants to help customers model their vision. Unfortunately, Staples hasn't announced pricing for any of these services yet, but at least the pilot program seems robust enough to give UPS a run for its money.