Amazon Rolls Out 3-D Printing Shopping Section

Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 | 2:36 PM ET

Amazon is getting into the 3-D printing business—sort of.

(Read More: The Next Big Thing: 3-D Systems' Home Printers )

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.

(Read More: 3-D Printers and the Cool Stuff They Make )

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.

(Read More: Software Out, Hardware Start-Ups In )

Makerbot Brings 3-D Printing to Brooklyn
Bre Pettis, CEO of Makerbot, discusses why he kept his 3-D printing company in Brooklyn. The privately held business is a takeover target, though the Pettis will not speculate about it.

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.

(Read More: 3-D Printing Is Next Computing Revolution: Beltway Insider )

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.

(Read More: How 3-D Printers Are Reshaping Medicine )

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.

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