Amazon has launched a new 3D printing store that offers a catalogue of around 200 different designs, which range from a crane skeleton to a skull with a tree growing out of it.
While most products can only be customised in terms of size and colour, the 27 products carrying the phrase 'create your own' offer greater flexibility. When it comes to these products, customers can log into Amazon's personalisation hub and then alter the design in accordance to their preferences.
And customers who want to get that 3D feeling before clicking on the checkout tab can use Amazon's 3D viewer as described in a release posted on the Amazon site:
"With the 3D product preview function, customers will be able to 360-degree rotate a virtual model of a product to tailor the item from every angle. After an item is personalized and the customer has finished the checkout process, the item is 3D printed on-demand by a manufacturing provider and shipped directly to the customer."
And although the online retail juggernaut is entering a market that Slate points out has been dominated by Shapeways since 2007, Amazon's director of marketplace sales Petra Schindler-Carter believes that the initiative will transform online retail:
“The introduction of our 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail – that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience. Sellers, in alignment with designers and manufacturers, can offer more dynamic inventory for customers to personalize and truly make their own. The 3D Printed Products store allows us to help sellers, designers and manufacturers reach millions of customers while providing a fun and creative customer experience to personalize a potentially infinite number of products at great prices across many product categories.”