eBay providing this service illustrates how mainstream 3D printing will become, at lest in terms of reaching consumers. It will be interesting to see if they expand the offering beyond customizing a pool of preset designs (which is obviously limiting on the design side) to provide more generalized services for 3D printing. Excellent report.
In product marketing terms there are three product categories. Mass produced, mass customized and full custom. Mass customization has traditionally been applied to larger items, such as automobiles. 3D printing seems to be able to allow this to be extended to very inexpensive products. This is really a game changer. It will also promote more local manufacturing. That could be interesting as well.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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