Jun 27, 2013

What You Should Know About Amazon’s 3D Printing Store

Amazon.com will soon take over the world. We will be witnesses, and we will be seeing things in a whole different dimension…three of them actually. That’s right. Amazon.com has announced the opening of its new online store for 3D printing. The platform, based in the United States, is the only Amazon platform to offer hardware and other supplies for 3D printing.

The sale of 3D software, services and printers, will be valued at 1.8B in 2013, estimates SmarTech Markets Publishing. Economists suggest that the need for 3D merchandise will raise that value to a little over 5B by 2018, five years in which a lot can happen. That figure may double once the advantages of 3D printing come out.

A 3D printer has the capacity to replicate any given object based on a three-dimensional graphic. 3D imaging is a little different; though the trend ultimately went on to enjoy the same exposure that 3D printing is projected to.

3D printing eliminates paper copy altogether. Instead, the printer reads the blueprint and produces a physical three dimensional replica of the design in question. The design possibilities with 3D printing are virtually limitless. Small business owners have taken a particular interest in 3D technology primarily for the potential that it harnesses in terms of innovation support.

This bold move by Amazon, which occurred quietly last week, is targeted toward business owners who need 3D printing supplies, anything ranging from the printers themselves to various shaping tools and printing plates, filament and tape. Unlike traditional printers, 3D printers do not require ink cartridges. Instead, the printer builds the graphic by layering atoms atop one another. The final product is a physical representation of what was once a computer graphic, existing in one-dimensional cyberspace.

While the ideal has been a major goal for manufacturers for years, it was not until recently that the technology was released on a mass-scale. 3D printing technology has had a great deal of difficulty going mainstream, namely for the high price tag on perpetual ease of use, though Amazon.com now joins major office supplier Staples in the 3D realm. Staples took on the Cube 3D printer earlier this month, and has posted significant gains as a result.

Still, the Amazon 3D Printing Store page can be found under ‘Additive Manufacturing Products,’ a subcategory of the ‘Industrial & Scientific’ genre. Whatever hopes that Amazon may have in regards to 3D printers become a household commodity are not a reality quite yet. Economists suggest that 3D printing will go mainstream within a few years.

Homeowners who do have the luxury of owning a 3D printer can now create plastic covers for their iPhones before work in the morning, or create toy figurines for their children (family time gets a lot more interesting when Daddy makes the G.I Joes). 3D printers also afford graphic designers the option of working from home.

3D printing is ideal for artists who desire a three-dimensional template with which to work, or for anyone who wishes to design, develop, replicate and distribute an entirely new product line from the comfort of their own home. Research analysts suggest that as 3D printing technology becomes more mainstream, major advances in communication will ride on its back.

As of right now, Amazon carries 29 3D printers, the most advanced being the fabbster 3D Printer Model 11-1. This comes fully assembled and goes for $3,000, while the Cubify Cube 3D Printer has been marked down from $1,400 to $1,100. With a wide range of products and price points in between, the store is expected to post unprecedented gains for Amazon.

The fact that 3D printing technology will enjoy its debut through an online retailer like Amazon will come as no surprise to many, though the nature of its introduction to mainstream society is supported by a ‘Perfect Storm’ of sorts. 3D imaging is vastly digital.

The fact that it will be released and promoted via the Internet, which gave it a leg to stand on as paper-copy printers dropped slowly into oblivion, will find many consumers itching for the next big technological breakthrough. Forecast models suggest major breakthroughs in not only communication, but also in architectural infrastructure (eco-friendly designs) and business development within the next decade should 3D printers become a staple in the home. More information regarding 3D printing can be found at the inktechnologies.com blog.

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