E-commerce giant Amazon just launched a pilot program aimed at selling 3D printed consumer goods, and that's big news looming on the horizon.
Working in conjunction with 3DLT, a 3D printing marketplace and distributed manufacturing network selected to participate in the pilot program, Amazon is offering 3D printed items ranging from fashion jewelry to belt buckles to a "vision training device."
Wait? What? A vision training device. Yep, think a slightly less legally actionable version of the Opti-Grab.
"We think 3D print-on-demand will be very attractive to companies who want access to a new, digital channel," says Colin Klayer of 3DLT. "It will also be appealing to independent designers who've told us they want access to a large consumer market."
It was only last June when Amazon first announced that they'd begin offering 3D printers and filament, but today Amazon.com announced the plan to also partner with four other companies on this project in the immediate future.
"I think the media frenzy around 3D printing has certainly created a spike around 3D printers and supplies, and Amazon already sells those things," adds CEO of 3DLT, John Hauer. "What it's also done is make consumers aware of the benefits of 3D printed products, and this is Amazon's first attempt at tapping into that. To the extent that consumers latch onto that, it could become bigger than the sales of 3D printers themselves."
The 3DLT offering includes some 50 different items which can be printed and shipped to consumers within 6-10 days, and those products range from belt buckles to iPhone cases and the aforementioned vision training device.
3DLT is a 3D printing repository for industrial designers, engineers and companies to display and sell their 3D printable items.
As for the 3D printed vision training device? They look pretty cool and they're described thusly on the site:
These 3D printed trainer glasses are perfect for individuals who want to improve their eyesight or are susceptible to headaches due to their vision. Each unit is digitally manufactured using industrial grade 3D printers and the highest quality Nylon Polyamide.
These 3D printed trainer glasses are for helping strengthen your vision. Holes in lenses allow for partial sight and force the eyes to work harder. Also known as Stenopeic Glasses used by optomologists to help train vision.