Reuters is reporting that Amazon is offering a new way to do 3D printing online. It has set up a store where a customer can order custom made 3D printed items such as bobble heads. Other items includes toys, ear rings, and decorative vases, according to Time. About 200 products in all are included in the launch. Items will cost anywhere from $40 to $100
Customers will be able to log on to the site and custom design their objects from a base model. For example, for bobble heads, they will be able to determine things like hair color, skin color, eye color, hair style, and outfit. Thus far customers will not be able to upload their own designs as does Shapeways. Amazon is not prepared yet to educate its customers in the details of 3D printing design and also wants to maintain some measure of quality control. It does not mean it won’t expand into that further area of customization in the future.
Amazon is partnering with companies such as Sculpteo, 3DLT, and Mixee labs, which brings 3D printing expertise. Amazon brings with it a customer base of over 240 million people world-wide. Combined this represents the biggest play yet for the production of 3D printed goods.
Amazon’s entry into customized 3D printing is the latest investment the online retail giant has entered into that has caused its most recent quarterly loss. The expectation is that 3D printing of retail goods is a growth industry that will only enhance Amazon’s bottom line going forward.