Starting today, iPhone users can download and use our newest app, eBay Exact, to buy customizable “printed” merchandise from three leading 3D printing companies. Customers can choose from roughly 20 items, ranging from technology accessories to jewelry, from Brooklyn-based MakerBot®, France-based Sculpteo and Toronto, Canada-based Hot Pop Factory. (3D printing is clearly an international affair.) Items cost anywhere from $9 for a plastic iPhone case to $350 for a metal ring, and are shipped directly from each 3D printer’s facilities.
For the uninitiated, 3D printing is the process of making a three-dimensional solid object from a digital model. “Prints” are created from an additive process where successive layers of material — be it plastic, metal or even wood pulp — are laid on top of each other in a structured way. eBay Exact allows users to order products directly from our partner 3D printers on the app, pay with PayPal, and receive the item within 7 to 14 business days. Buyers who choose to buy from Sculpteo can play around with a 360-degree preview image of the item they want to customize and buy.
“Shoppers today not only want to buy items anytime, anywhere through mobile devices, but they also want to be able to personalize their purchases. eBay Exact brings these two desires into one shopping experience,” says Steve Yankovich, Vice President of Innovation and New Ventures for eBay.
Photo: A MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer at work. Courtesy of MakerBot