News

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize products

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize products

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado. Photo: Reuters/Rick Wilking/Files

By Deepa Seetharaman

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and other items from third-party sellers using a new personalization option on its website.

Most of the more than 200 items available on the company’s new 3D printed products store, which launched on Monday, can be customized using a new feature that allows users to rotate and change the item they are viewing.

Before it is printed by one of Amazon’s sellers, users can customize a product like as a bobble head figure by changing its skin and eye color, hair style and outfit, Amazon said.

“The customization is something we’re keenly interested in,” said Petra Schindler-Carter, director for Amazon marketplace sales, speaking in an interview. “We’ll always look for new applications for that.”

Amazon, which has more than 240 million users, has expanded its marketplaces division to include new areas such as fine art and wine. It is part of Amazon’s larger investment into new areas like mobile services and original content that led to its larger-than-expected second-quarter loss last week.

The new printing option taps into a broader “Maker movement” among tech entrepreneurs in northern California, and to some extent Europe, that is focused on customizing 3D objects rather than development software or mobile applications.

3D printers have gained in popularity on Amazon Supply, a wholesale site for businesses. That interest led Amazon to offer customers an 3D print option, Schindler-Carter said.

(Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Illinois Gets CDC Grant to Combat Drug Overdoses

Fresh
CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Illinois as one of 16 recipients in a program called "Prescription Drug Overdoses: Prevention for States."

in Local

IDOT Says Budget Impasse Should Not Affect Winter Road Cleanup

Fresh
idot

Blankenhorn says the budget battle hasn’t had much of an impact on the agency yet, as the appropriation for ongoing construction projects was signed by the governor.

in Local

Farmers Give Reasons for Optimism at Farm Progress Show

Fresh
farmprogressshow2013

National Corn Growers Association attributes positive farming outlook to decent crops and more people entering farming.

in Local

County Election Office Open Extended Hours for Special Election Early Voting

Fresh
vote here

Sangamon County Election Office also open Sunday and Labor Day Monday.

in Local

AFSCME: Time to Go Back to the Negotiating Table

afscme

Rauner has said he wouldn't lock out state workers even as contract negotiations continue, but AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall doesn't buy it.