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You don’t need a 3D printer to participate in the fast-growing world of 3D printing.

Ebay is bringing an 3D print marketplace to the iPhone.

Ebay is bringing a 3D print marketplace to the iPhone.

Online marketplaces will do the 3D printing for you: simply browse the objects for sale, add some customization, and order. Your 3D printed object will arrive in the mail in a few weeks.

Shapeways, Ponoko, i.Materialise, and Sculpteo are among the best known of these online 3D printing services, and more are launching every week.

Now online retailer eBay has created an Apple iPhone app, eBay Exact, that offers a smartphone doorway into this world.

Ebay’s launch partners are  MakerBot, Sculpteo, and  Hot Pop Factory.

To place an order, you choose your object, then pick from the available customization choices. Items are shipped directly from eBay’s partners within 7 to 14 days.

The merchandise is primarily jewelry at this point, and a few iPhone cases. The selection is limited to around 20 items. But the app promises to further extend the 3D marketplace well beyond those who own a 3D printer.

How about you? Are you more inclined to order your 3D printed items from a centralized service? Or would you rather print them yourself?

DC Denison

DC Denison

DC Denison is the editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

The former technology editor of The Boston Globe, DC is also interested in content management systems.


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