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eBay Dips Toes Into 3-D Printing Market With iOS App

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the now-ebay-fakes-can-be-genuine dept.

IOS 26

An anonymous reader writes "eBay has announced a new iOS app called eBay Exact that lets you buy customizable 3D-printed merchandise on the go. You can download the new addition now directly from Apple's App Store. 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."

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26 comments

Only 20? (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 9 months ago | (#44268389)

What's the point of 3D printing then? The whole advantage of 3D printing is that every single item can be completely different.

Re:Only 20? (2)

divide overflow (599608) | about 9 months ago | (#44268399)

What part of "customizable" didn't you get?

Re:Only 20? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about 9 months ago | (#44268903)

CAD software on an iPhone or iPad? Bleh.

Re:Only 20? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#44269249)

I'd guess that the CPU in the third and fourth generation iPad is more powerful than the CPUs in the CAD workstations of about a decade ago. What is the iPad fundamentally missing that would bar the development of CAD software?

Re:Only 20? (1)

6ULDV8 (226100) | about 9 months ago | (#44268439)

Perhaps they'll add the ability to upload a sketch in the near future. For now, yes, not very useful.

A special store app for limited merchandise (5, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | about 9 months ago | (#44268443)

I'm supposed to use a store app in order to download another store app so I can purchase from a small selection of customizable trinkets by one of three central manufacturers who happen to use 3D printing. I'm scratching my head here over the value add. I suppose the real story is that Ebay doesn't want to be in the auction business any longer, they'd rather run a walled garden app store that sells junk.

I understand the desire to buy a 3D printer. But why buy something just because it's been 3D printed? Customization can't possibly beat assembly line mass manufacturing in a price/value comparison for this stuff. If Ebay wants to turn this into a business, they need better products that absolutely must be 3D manufactured for utility. Imagine having customized piping tailored specifically to a house plumbing job. Or extruding irregularly shaped cement blocks in Penrose tiles so they could be organized into an earthquake proof wall. That's a business. What Ebay is doing here -- not so much.

Re:A special store app for limited merchandise (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 9 months ago | (#44268593)

I suppose the real story is that Ebay doesn't want to be in the auction business any longer

It might come as a surprise to you, apparently, but this isn't the first time eBay has done something unrelated to auctions.

Re:A special store app for limited merchandise (1)

GrpA (691294) | about 9 months ago | (#44268703)

Take a look at Shapeways.com - I guess Ebay see long-term business there.

GrpA

Re:A special store app for limited merchandise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269061)

I guess in some ways 3D printing could have a similar appeal to self-publishing. You design something which a lot of people might find useful, but not so many that it's worth setting up traditional manufacturing to make it. People order one and it's made to order by a 3D printer, or they buy a 3D printer of their own and but the file to print one. Or maybe they pop into a local 3D printer shop with a file and print one. Sure, the quality won't match traditional manufacturing for a long time (see advances in desktop printing vs commercial printing for a comparison of costs/quality over time and the effect on small-scale commercial printing...) but it may mean that some unusual items are available, perhaps creating a market where non previously existed.

Re:A special store app for limited merchandise (1)

maynard (3337) | about 9 months ago | (#44269879)

> 3D printing could have a similar appeal to self-publishing. You design something
> which a lot of people might find useful, but not so many that it's worth setting
> up traditional manufacturing to make it.

That would make sense. If Ebay printed general items based on an open market of plans, they'd have a capital advantage and could buy or develop the highest fidelity printers available. I could see that being a good business plan.

It's the limited product range they're selling combined with the walled garden approach to sales that makes this a real stinker of a plan. IMO.

Can I have a Liberator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44268503)

I've always wanted a gun that can't be detected by any current technology including airport screeners. Seems perfect for the project I have in mind...

Criticism aside (1)

mitcheli (894743) | about 9 months ago | (#44268527)

This a fascinating development. The trick will be to see if they can actually make money off of it. Two things that stand out to me as why this is good is first, it creates a much broader acceptance (if successful) of the 3D printing technology. As people gain confidence in the technology, you'll see more advances in the technology as well as more people adopting the technology. If that happens, then Ebay will already be well situated in the market to switch from an connection between consumer and printing services to a provider of printing plans for various things. Ultimately, it might turn out that instead of going to Ebay to buy whatever, you go to Ebay to download whatever and to print it yourself.

Replicators ... here we come...

Re:Criticism aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269541)

This a fascinating development.

If you like that, you'll love the Facebook 3D scanning/printing app. Hello imposters, goodbye photographic identification. While obsessed idiotic children waste time developing a printed gun that will never be safe, villains and archvillains have been developing software to make on the fly, perfectly customized disguises that are quite effective.

First order (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#44268581)

1 x Big Boy dildo
1 x Liberator pistol

There won't be a second order, the site will close.

Re:First order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269747)

As a weaboo fag I'm sure you have enough big boy dildos.

Soon to be the MPAA, the RIAA... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44268697)

...and the 3DAA.

Ebay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44268701)

Nazi shit, that no one should use.

Stay Classy, Leftist Protesters (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44268799)

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/353327/austin-protesters-carried-jars-urine-feces-throw-charles-c-w-cooke?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

"During these inspections, DPS officers have thus far discovered one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint. All of these items – as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti possessed by individuals – were required to be discarded."

Isn't that cute? You stupid leftists just cannot abide by anyone going against the ideology, so much so that whenever your side loses you degrade to the points where "let's throw poop and pee on them" sounds like a good idea.

This is not just digusting and pathetic; these are the thoughts and actions of evil men. Poop. Say it with me, poop. poop, poop, poop, poop.

What happens drones when the poop and pee doesn't work huh? Defending and demanding your agenda is one thing but then lowering yourselves to this level is quite another. What comes after poop then? Rocks? Something worse?

It's sad really, defending the Constitution is what we should be doing, disagreements are one thing, but that is not what this is. When the agenda of the left is threatened, the leftist will do anything and everything necessary to make sure the agenda is held to.

At some point these "disagreements" and "protests" turn into much different much worse events, if you know your history you know the kind of thing I am talking about.

Of course being leftists you wouldn't really know history then would you. If you did then you wouldn't be carrying jars of poop and pee.

I truly fear for this country and my children's future.

And I really, really hate evil men.

People who carry jars of poop and pee, and the men that agitate and direct those that do so are evil.

Re:Stay Classy, Leftist Protesters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44268913)

one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces

Jars are the new colostomy bags. Didn't anyone memo you?

Terms of Use, copied from click-thru screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44268857)

EBAY EXACT MOBILE APPLICATION PRIVACY POLICY AND TERMS OF USE

Revision Date: June 17, 2013

Last Modified: N/A

This Application, Mobile Application Privacy Policy and Terms of Use © 2013 eBay Inc.

By using the eBay Exact Mobile Application (the âoeApplicationâ), you agree to be bound by this Mobile Application Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. eBay Inc. (âoeeBayâ) owns and operates the eBay Exact Mobile Application and the eBay Exact website.

Your installation and use of this Application is also subject to the eBay Exact Privacy Policy and User Agreement.

MOBILE APPLICATION PRIVACY POLICY

This Mobile Application Privacy Policy describes how this Application collects, uses and protects your information.

Collection and Use: We may collect, use and store some or all of the following, for the purpose of providing you a mobile eBay user experience:

Device sign-on data (including device ID)
Email address, if you have chosen to share this with the Application
Information about how you interact with the Application, including products searched for and viewed products
We and our Service Providers use this information to operate and improve our Application, sites, services, and tools.

Sharing Information: We may share the information we collect with members of the eBay corporate family to provide joint content and services (like registration, transactions and customer support), to help detect and prevent potentially illegal acts and violations of our policies, and to guide decisions about their products, services and communications. Members of our corporate family will use this information to send you marketing communications only if you have requested their services.

If you have accounts with or use more than one eBay mobile application, we may share a limited amount of your information with other eBay mobile applications in order to improve your mobile experience.

This Application may use third parties to provide parts of our services as well as to provide analytical data about your use of the Application back to us. We may deploy devices such as cookies that enable those third parties to anonymously collect and aggregate usage data and report it back to us. Third parties that we contract with to help provide our services cannot use your personal information for their own purposes without your explicit consent.

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Contact: For questions about this Mobile Application Privacy Policy, please contact us at âoeeBay Legal â" Global Privacy Practicesâ using the address listed in Contracting Parties below.

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eBay grants you the right to use this Application only on an iOS product that you own or control and as permitted by the Usage Rules set forth in the App Store Terms of Service.
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_______________

Copyright 2013 eBay Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the âoeLicenseâ); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

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Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the âoeSoftwareâ), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED âoeAS ISâ, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

iOS 6 required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269081)

So us guys who are still on iPad 1 can't use it. Any reason this app requires iOS 6, other than that Xcode sets that by default when you create a new project?

Re:iOS 6 required (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 9 months ago | (#44269693)

"Any reason this app requires iOS 6, other than that Xcode sets that by default when you create a new project?"

I tested it just now, I chose an iPhone cover, where you can choose the curve and add your own name, unfortunately right now it can be any name as long as it's 'Lucius'.

This is Funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44269327)

The ironic thing is that 3D printing may one day be the downfall of eBay. Why buy a genuine item if you can not only download the movie data, but also create the physical disk with official art, and the accompanying case and insert, all in one go? It could be possible to make everything with access to a small number of materials eventually. Then you'd have no need for collector's items, outside of purists I suppose.

Re:This is Funny (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 9 months ago | (#44269563)

That's not ironic. Perhaps eBay came to the same conclusion and decided to get in on the business that will eventually supplant them (or at least take a big chunk)? That seems like good business sense.

Re:This is Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44272553)

Consider the alternative path. Remember Kodak actually invented digital cameras. What did they do? They sat on it and did nothing with it because it would hurt their film sales. What happened? The competition developed digital cameras and buried Kodak's twitching corpse in a shallow grave. As predicted, digital did hurt film sales.

The worst thing a company can do is to stay dogmatically tied to their original business plan. eBay is exploring a path that may or may not be the future, but they know that if it takes off and they aren't on top of it, it will kill them.

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