It's true that there is still a limited number of designs. However, sites like https://3Dagogo.com are looking to create large database repositories of proven to print designs. They, and their competitors, are still small as well, but they are growing quick. Watch out, 3D printing repositories will be HUGE, and soon!
3D printing will also be more easily available via Windows 8.1, which adds native support for several 3D printers: http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2013/06/26/3d-printing-with-windows.aspx
Kleetus, It looks like there are also design restrictions which only allow users "to choose from a pool of predetermined designs" that they can then "customize" and purchase on the go. Very limited offering at this point.
I think your reading is correct. I understood the article the same way, only available as an apple app. The selection stinks, I can go to most tourist traps and buy plastic trinkets. I want to 3D print something that I design in my CAD then send to a service like this.
I think the eBay concept is scratching the surface of the wed based sales of 3D printing services.
Ahan Ebay exact is a very interesting and usefull application . Initially it is not of that much use but in future when 3D Printing will be common more this application will be very usefull. It helps those who cant affoard to buy 3d printers thats really very great and i beleive that in future many more such technologies will be emergng .
naperlou, You've touch on a key item and that's manufacturing. Wiith 3D printing being common in the Maker community, US Manufacturing is definitely coming back and being supported by this low cost desktop tool. The tech venture between eBay and the three 3D printer companies mentioned in the article is a good business mixture. The ability to sell products using an eBay store allows anyone to become a virtual merchant quite easily. Now, add 3D printing capability and the virtual merchant can not only sell products but manufacture them as well. I see this business model becoming the future norm because of low 3D printer cost and the ease in which to open a virtual store to sell customized products. This business model allows those who are seeking employment to tread in the waters of entrepreneurship. A very cool and fun way to improve the US economy.
I agree, Al. Seeing it on eBay suggests that 3DE printing is coming to the masses. I still talk to people who believe this is a passing fad, but I don't buy that. I remember when people said they would never buy a PC ("I don't need a computer to store recipes"), but that changed quickly when the apps started to become available.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
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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