Amazon launches pilot to test 3D-printed products

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has partnered with 3DLT, an online retailer that specializes in 3D printing, to offer 3D-printed objects through a new pilot program -- one that stands to capitalize on a new trend that promises to change retail forever.

Amazon hand-picked 3DLT after learning about the company through the startup accelerator UpTech. The company is one of the first to offer a market for 3D-printed products and 3D printing designs. Its products range from jewelry to smartphone cases with more items to be added in the coming weeks.

3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. Amazon's pilot program is the first for the retailer, but not the first of its kind. Makerbot has a head start on Amazon with three stores and an entire product line -- the Makerbot Replicator Mini will ship this spring and pre-orders are currently being placed for the $1,375 system.

Last year, Amazon began selling 3D printers and currently offers a limited selection of 3D-printed items. If the pilot is successful, the product range could increase.

"When it was announced that Amazon would begin selling 3D printers and supplies last summer, the industry heralded it as a defining moment, a clear indication that 3D printing was going mainstream," said John Hauer, CEO of 3DLT. 

For more:
-See this 3DLT press release
-See this Fast Company article
-See this Makerbot press release

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