Last year, Amazon gave some legitimacy to 3D printing when it began to sell 3D printers and filament. Now the online retailer is taking the next step - selling 3D printed objects.
3DLT, an online retailer that specializes in 3D printing as as service, announced this week that its products will now be sold on Amazon. Its products range from jewelry to smartphone cases with more items to be added in the coming weeks.
3DLT CEO John Hauer says that Amazon selling 3D printed objects sends a powerful message:
“When it was announced that Amazon would begin selling 3D printers and supplies last summer, the industry heralded it as a defining moment, a clear indication that 3D printing was going mainstream,” says Hauer. “We think the decision to sell 3D printed products sends an even bigger message. Consumer products are the next frontier.”
Amazon is apparently testing the waters to see if 3D print-on-demand services are worth offering, but 3DLT thinks its it will be a success:
“We’re thrilled to be included in the pilot,” says 3DLT COO Colin Klayer. “We think 3D print-on-demand will be very attractive to companies who want access to a new, digital channel. It will also be appealing to independent designers who’ve told us they want access to a large consumer market.”
3DLT's new partnership with Amazon is a pretty big deal, but it's a little restrictive compared to some other 3D print-on-demand services out there. With 3DLT, you can only buy certain designs through Amazon. Other competitors - like Shapeways - allows you to design your own products and have them print and ship the completed object to you. Amazon will need to offer a similar service if it wants to truly compete in the 3D print-on-demand market.
That being said, this is all still fairly new. Amazon is treating this as a pilot and for good reason. Consumers might not see Amazon as the place to go for 3D print-on-demand services. If this pilot does end up being a success though, we might just see Amazon becoming more like Shapeways in the future.
Image via Amazon