Amazon Rolls Out 3-D Printing Shopping Section
Amazon is getting into the 3-D printing business—sort of.
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The online retailer recently launched a dedicated section on its website where consumers can buy 3-D printers as well as materials for them, including software, filaments and other accessories all in one place.
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Also known as "additive manufacturing," 3-D has been inching its way into the mainstream, though major retailers have been slow to embrace it. Staples entered the 3-D arena earlier this year, when it began selling systems called the Cube.
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Amazon's move is especially intriguing given that at the company's annual shareholder meeting last month, CEO Jeff Bezos said that while 3-D printing was "interesting," he didn't see Amazon using it anytime soon.
Bezos was referring of course to Amazon using 3-D technology to sell goods in a digital form that consumers can buy and then print themselves. Still, to start selling the machines that enable the consumer to make goods is definitely a step in that direction.
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Currently, Makerbot has a similar system. The 3-D printing company, in Brooklyn, N.Y., has one of the largest online databases of digital designs, which consumers can use to download the blueprint for items they want to print with their Makerbot machine.
By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.