Target introduces 3-D printing for holiday items

Those watching the 3-D printing category can now look beyond office supply retailers. Target (NYSE:TGT) is now offering 3-D printing for small decorative and gift items for the holidays.

The retailer is offering the product through a partnership with Shapeways, an online 3-D printing marketplace and service. Using the 3-D technology and ideas developed by the Target design team, the retailer is offering consumers a new collection of charms, rings and holiday ornaments that can be customized online and mailed to friends and family.

Shoppers can visit the Shapeways section of Target's website to select an item to produce. Then, a user picks out the material of a charm or ornament and adds any special customization—messages or monograms. When the order is placed, the 3-D printers sculpt the creation and ship it to the shopper's home in two to three weeks.

The assortment of charms starts at $7.99 and includes 120 silhouettes from anchors and hearts to love letters. There are also ornaments that range from snowflakes to stockings.

"We wanted to offer Target guests a wide array of options that would appeal to an equally wide array of tastes, passions and hobbies," said Stephanie Grotta, a designer on Target's product design and development team. "Jewelry is so personal, whether you're giving it as a gift or buying something for yourself. We wanted to answer that need while making sure the pieces were stylish and original." The charms are designed to be worn as pendants on a chain; a selection of rings is also included in the jewelry offerings.

The 3D print market is poised for rapid expansion. According to the Consumer Electronics Association's U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast report, sales of desktop 3-D printers are expected to reach 67,000 units in 2014, earning $76 million in revenue. That's an increase of 43 percent over 2013.

*An earlier version of this story originally appeared in FierceRetailIT's sister publication, FierceRetail.

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