Amazon made a huge leap into 3D printing Monday, announcing the launch of the 3D Printed Products Store. Much like the wearables marketplace the e-commerce giant launched in April, the 3D Printed Products store offers shoppers a centralized shopping destination for products created with the emerging technology.
The storefront offers pretty basic products, like jewelry, knickknacks and bobble heads, but the draw is that shoppers can personalize item details via a product preview widget.
To manufacture the 3D printed goods, Amazon is working in partnership with companies such as Sculpteo, 3DLT and Mixee labs. Prices range from under $40 to as much as $100.
"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," said Petra Schindler-Carter, director for Amazon Marketplace Sales, in a prepared statement. "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."
While there may not be a huge demand for personalized bobble heads, the storefront is a significant effort by Amazon to get shoppers involved with and acquainted to 3D printing technology. Once shoppers get hooked on the high level of customization — and the 3D printer space matures — Amazon could start to incorporate more products into the marketplace's offerings, and eventually make a name for itself as a leader in bringing the emerging technology to the masses.