eBay is jumping on to the 3D printing bandwagon with the launch of an iOS-based store called Exact, which allows companies with 3D printers to sell their custom goods with ease.
For end users, this app will let them customize all kinds of products from people who own 3D printers. eBay is working with three of bigger names in the 3D printing game to provide the customizable products: Sculpteo, MakerBot, and Hot Pop Factory. This means buyers should be able to feel comfortable buying products through the app, as the companies who are building the goods have plenty of experience.
For the time being, the customizable products available are pretty limited, with users able to make iPhone cases, jewelry, figurines based on self-portraits, and a couple other small objects, but it seems likely that eBay will expand its offerings down the line, as long as this venture proves to be successful for the auction giant.
In addition to changing the look of products, users can also decide which materials are used to build their products. Depending on what the user is making, users can choose plastics, wood and metals to make their product of choice.
eBay is not the first major online retailer to jump headfirst into the 3D printing game, as Amazon has recently announced that it will sell 3D printers and accessories. For many users, buying an actual printer is not feasible, but using eBay’s service to build some cool goods is much more practical.
The Exact app is available on iOS in the US for now. If this works out, it seems likely that eBay would launch it on other mobile platforms and in other areas around the world.