Amazon have launched a 3D printing store on their main US site.
This signals an important step forward in 3D printing ecommerce.
The store features goods that can be personalised. Once personalised the goods are shipped in the same way as a regular product.
Having a route to market will enable suppliers of printed goods to sell product and innovate further. This I see as the first step in where 3D printing is headed.
This Christmas we'll see 3D printers in the shops. 3D systems have produced a printer which makes printing accessible to the masses, the Cube 2, retailing at under £1000.
During the next year, the number of home printers will increase. Estimates suggest that the 250k in use at present. These are mainly used by hobbyists. Next year we could see that number quadruple. It's early days but a movement is afoot.
I've heard that the UK will have 3D printing on the school curriculum by next year. A trial last year showed that it increased the interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). See report.
It's quite possible that the home hobbyist movement will become more mainstream as our kids innovate with CAD designs for homework projects.
This leads us back to Amazon. Amazon used to ship books. They increasingly sell them as digital files. One day Amazon will not need to ship products either. They will be selling 3D printer designs. Instead of buying a finished product, we might buy a design and print our product at home.
What can become digital will become digital.