Monday, 27 May 2013

3D Printing No Impact on Amazon says Jeff Bezos

At a shareholder meeting, Jeff Bezos CEO of Amazon was asked about the impact of 3D Printing on his business model. He replied:

Inside one Amazon warehouse
"I think the answer to that is, not anytime soon ... That's far, far in the future ... You can't build interesting objects with limited materials .... Even incredibly simple objects like a toaster have dozens of materials."

Bezos thinks that 3D Printing is super interesting, but for prototyping not mass production.

Is he right?

Amazon sells and ships complete 'end user' products? What about 'end use' components in the supply chain of those companies for which Amazon is the retail distribution front end?

It will be decades (or more) before 3D Printing has any measurable impact on Amazon's distribution model.  Over those same decades the extent to which AM is contributing to the production of end use components within those products is both a complex question and a subject of debate.

The real impact of 3D Printing is likely to be the creation of entirely new product categories, including 3D Printers themselves, and not the replacement of traditional manufacturing.

You'll know when 3D Printing is making a significant impact on manufacturing. It will be when Jeff Bezos works out how he can start to assemble and manufacture, and not just to ship. Until then, expect Amazon to sell 3D Printers and 3D Printer Supplies just as Plastic Filament. And that's precisely what they have started to do.

Amazon has opened a product category for Additive Manufacturing within their Industrial and Scientific products space.

To understand the scale of Amazon's business view images of Amazon warehouses around the world.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Liberator, an all Plastic 3D Printed Gun has been fired

Following our Analysis of the Aims of Defense Distributed the group have successfully fired an all plastic 3D printed pistol, the Liberator.

Message from Cody Wilson to 3D Printing News and Trends "Fantastic. This is the first piece I've seen that nails the whole endeavor. And I was beginning to think we had created a riddle..."
 -- Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed

Thanks Cody!


According to media reports, some time before May 10th, the US State Department has written to the gun's designer, Defense Distributed, saying that publishing such designs, which enable anyone with a 3D printer to produce their own plastic gun, could breach arms-control regulations.

"The order, however, comes after the blueprints were downloaded more than 100,000 times, and cannot prevent their further redistribution by others who have already downloaded them."

"The Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance told Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson to ensure the designs be "removed from public access". It said he must prove he had not broken laws on shipping weapons overseas by putting the files online and letting people outside the US download them."

Cody's response to this is:

"DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information."

Now go back and read the Analysis of the Aims of Defense Distributed