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IOS Technology

eBay Dips Toes Into 3-D Printing Market With iOS App 26

Posted by timothy
from the now-ebay-fakes-can-be-genuine dept.
An anonymous reader writes "eBay has announced a new iOS app called eBay Exact that lets you buy customizable 3D-printed merchandise on the go. You can download the new addition now directly from Apple's App Store. The products in question are available from three leading 3D printing companies, according to eBay: Brooklyn-based MakerBot, France-based Sculpteo, and Toronto, Canada-based Hot Pop Factory. Currently, customers can choose from only about 20 items, ranging from technology accessories to jewelry, but that number is likely to grow fairly quickly."
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eBay Dips Toes Into 3-D Printing Market With iOS App

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  • What's the point of 3D printing then? The whole advantage of 3D printing is that every single item can be completely different.

  • I'm supposed to use a store app in order to download another store app so I can purchase from a small selection of customizable trinkets by one of three central manufacturers who happen to use 3D printing. I'm scratching my head here over the value add. I suppose the real story is that Ebay doesn't want to be in the auction business any longer, they'd rather run a walled garden app store that sells junk.

    I understand the desire to buy a 3D printer. But why buy something just because it's been 3D printed? Customization can't possibly beat assembly line mass manufacturing in a price/value comparison for this stuff. If Ebay wants to turn this into a business, they need better products that absolutely must be 3D manufactured for utility. Imagine having customized piping tailored specifically to a house plumbing job. Or extruding irregularly shaped cement blocks in Penrose tiles so they could be organized into an earthquake proof wall. That's a business. What Ebay is doing here -- not so much.

    • I suppose the real story is that Ebay doesn't want to be in the auction business any longer

      It might come as a surprise to you, apparently, but this isn't the first time eBay has done something unrelated to auctions.

    • by GrpA (691294)

      Take a look at Shapeways.com - I guess Ebay see long-term business there.

      GrpA

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I guess in some ways 3D printing could have a similar appeal to self-publishing. You design something which a lot of people might find useful, but not so many that it's worth setting up traditional manufacturing to make it. People order one and it's made to order by a 3D printer, or they buy a 3D printer of their own and but the file to print one. Or maybe they pop into a local 3D printer shop with a file and print one. Sure, the quality won't match traditional manufacturing for a long time (see advances in

      • by maynard (3337)

        > 3D printing could have a similar appeal to self-publishing. You design something
        > which a lot of people might find useful, but not so many that it's worth setting
        > up traditional manufacturing to make it.

        That would make sense. If Ebay printed general items based on an open market of plans, they'd have a capital advantage and could buy or develop the highest fidelity printers available. I could see that being a good business plan.

        It's the limited product range they're selling combined with the wal

  • This a fascinating development. The trick will be to see if they can actually make money off of it. Two things that stand out to me as why this is good is first, it creates a much broader acceptance (if successful) of the 3D printing technology. As people gain confidence in the technology, you'll see more advances in the technology as well as more people adopting the technology. If that happens, then Ebay will already be well situated in the market to switch from an connection between consumer and printing
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@worldCHEETAH3.net minus cat> on Saturday July 13, 2013 @05:26AM (#44268581) Homepage

    1 x Big Boy dildo
    1 x Liberator pistol

    There won't be a second order, the site will close.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...and the 3DAA.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The ironic thing is that 3D printing may one day be the downfall of eBay. Why buy a genuine item if you can not only download the movie data, but also create the physical disk with official art, and the accompanying case and insert, all in one go? It could be possible to make everything with access to a small number of materials eventually. Then you'd have no need for collector's items, outside of purists I suppose.

    • That's not ironic. Perhaps eBay came to the same conclusion and decided to get in on the business that will eventually supplant them (or at least take a big chunk)? That seems like good business sense.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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