The products in question are available from three leading 3D printing companies, according to eBay: Brooklyn-based MakerBot, France-based Sculpteo, and Toronto, Canada-based Hot Pop Factory. Currently, customers can choose from only about 20 items, ranging from technology accessories to jewelry, but that number is likely to grow fairly quickly.
eBay Exact allows users to order products directly from its partners, pay with PayPal (items cost anywhere from $9 for a plastic iPhone case to $350 for a metal ring), and receive the item within seven to 14 business days. Each and every product is shipped directly from the 3D printer’s facilities.
In its announcement, eBay calls Exact an iPhone app, but the App Store clearly states it works on the iPod touch and iPad as well. Using the app is fairly straightforward: select a product, choose a design, and add your own personal customizations.
The app’s feature list is as follows:
- Bring your style to life. Choose from a variety of materials, including plastics, wood and metals. Use the engraving feature to further customize your product.
- Be the first to use new technology to create one-of-a-kind iPhone cases, jewelry, and figurines based on self-portraits.
- Build your collection. Whether you love jewelry or figurines, eBay Exact allows you to create as many unique products, exactly as you like, based on your personal desires and preferences.
“Shoppers today not only want to buy items anytime, anywhere through mobile devices, but they also want to be able to personalize their purchases,” Steve Yankovich, Vice President of Innovation and New Ventures for eBay, said in a statement. “eBay Exact brings these two desires into one shopping experience.”
It’s certainly a bold move for eBay to move into the 3D-printing market but an iOS app is a smart way to do it. The company isn’t exactly investing a boatload of resources, and yet it’s still getting into the game early enough to be a major player for when and if this new industry takes off.
Top Image Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images