Amazon’s patent for 3D printing and delivery

An article in the Wall Street Journal (February 26, 2015) titled “When Drones Aren’t Enough, Amazon Envisions Trucks with 3D Printers” describes a recent patent awarded to Amazon that describes printing the required product for the customer rather than carrying it in inventory and transporting it to the customer.  The possible use is to print spare parts required by customers and offer quick delivery without carrying inventory in anticipation of customer demand.  But success in this front will require manufacturers to share design details and print files, in return for the benefits from customer delivery. Will OEMs find it in their interest to share design files with Amazon to enable customer satisfaction ? Will such printers be used to customize products already available and offer convenient 3D printing capability for customers ? Will there be enough volume to generate the truck utilization required for these services to be profitable ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
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