'eBay Exact' App Allows Users to Customize and Print 3D Items

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    eBay has launched a new app that allows users to order and customize a number of printed objects from companies like MakerBot, Sculpteo, and Hot Pop Factory. Items available from eBay Exact range from jewelry to personalized figurines to iPhone cases.

    Items ordered from eBay Exact have a wide range of prices. For example, a simple iPhone case is priced at $25, while a figurine costs $150 and a ring costs up to $350. Ordered items are processed through Paypal and shipped within seven to 14 business days.

    eBay Exact can currently be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: 'eBay Exact' App Allows Users to Customize and Print 3D Items
  2. Klae17 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2011
    I want to print my own MacBook Pro 17" retina display.
  3. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Very cool! Hopefully this will succeed as a way for individual "makers" to reach the world with unique niche products that could never otherwise get manufactured.
  4. jent macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2010
    So is the idea behind this that 3D printing companies get to sell their goods through a major outlet, eBay, while consumers get to buy 3D printed products without needing to invest in a 3D printer? It's a good idea, and its presence will be a good thing, but I can't help but feel disappointed that the prices don't seem to be any cheaper than their mass-manufactured counterparts.
  5. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    This is good from the side of getting 3d printed stuff without a printer.

    However at the same time it'll kill the RepRap project, which is what allowed all the 3d printing businesses to really exist!
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Not sure I follow... why would you think custom single-copy products would be anything but more expensive than mass market counterparts?
  7. cmwade77 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2008
    Because the components are less expensive.

    Let's look at Makerbot2 for a moment and I'll use the numbers from their website, even though it's more expensive than you can get it for elsewhere:
    The printer it's self: $2,799
    1KG of material: $48

    1KG is enough to make about 10 iphone cases, which work out to $4.80 each.

    So, if they sell for $25, that is a $20.20 markup. This would mean that after about 140 cases, everything is pure profit.

    So, once this point has been reached, they could easily drop the price by $10-$15 and still make a nice chunk of change.
  8. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    You say this and then describe the cost structure of machine and raw materials for the custom parts, but don't address the mold/material cost of mass produced and you don't address any differences in marketing/support/overhead costs.

    Good explanation of why they could choose to undercut mass-produced competition but without the full comparative cost structure of both models it's meaningless..

    (BTW, I guess I failed to mention my first post was talking about manufacturing cost not sales cost. In terms of the latter, you'd also expect custom products to be priced higher at retail due to the added value to the customer)
  9. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    But a mass produced item is going to sell higher quantities, meaning they can cut the margins lower. The cost of producing/packing/shipping single items by hand is going to be more expensive then doing it all at once on a large scale.

    I think once more people have the capability the price will fix itself, but right now most people with a 3D printer don't want to spend all day printing iPhone cases to make $20/pop.

    Makerbot takes about 1.5 hours to print an iPhone case, which means in an 8-hour day you can print 5 cases...hence the current $20 markup. Any lower and demand will increase while you supply is the same 5 cases/day (Assuming one person and one machine.)

    So 140 cases would be about a month of "full time" work (You can be doing other things, but you physically have to be around the printer to refill it.) for $2800 profit. Not bad if you have a 3D printer laying around, but you aren't going to be making a living even at the $20 markup. Charge less and it becomes a terrible deal, you are essentially giving your time and your 3D printers time away nothing.
  10. Mums Suspended


    Oct 4, 2011
    Apple PLEASE bring back the 17" MacBook Pro!
  11. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    But the machine and materials are only part of the cost of running a business. What about employee salaries, benefits, insurance, taxes, legal fees, office space, utilities, packaging, advertising, programming, and profit margin?
  12. Dennis187 macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2010
    below you
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think this is really cool. I wonder what they'd charge for shipping something super large.
  14. cmwade77 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2008
    These all continue to point out why the 3D printed models should be cheaper. No molds are required, marketing can be done through online stores, ebay, etc. that simply take a small percentage of the sales, so that costs less as well.

    I would expect that we will see custom products and printed products being cheaper as consumers begin to realize how inexpensive 3D printing is becoming, they will demand the lower prices or go to designing (which is amazing easy, even now and will become easier) and printing on their own.
  15. WhiteIphone5 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2011
    Lima, Peru

    Can I order the new Mac Pro please.
  16. cmwade77 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2008
    These outfits are mostly run from home businesses now, with no employees.

    This tends to eliminate a lot of the other issues.

    Electricity is minimal, around the same cost as running a light bulb.

    Programming is not necessary, look at these websites, most provide free tools to quickly design products.

    AutoDesk also offers several free tools that will work for all of the applications mentioned in this article.

    As I said in my other post, advertising is no longer a major part of the budget thanks to the advent of the online stores. These stores just take a small cut and provide advertising.

    Most of these products can be packaged in free shipping boxes/envelopes from the post office with free packing material.


    Now, this is indeed a very good point and really the only one on here that I can see that makes any sense.
  17. pianophile macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2002
    You can't... for now.
  18. beelzebubba macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2013
    Perhaps you should purchase a Replicator 2 and have at it...

    There are assumptions on your part that aren't correct. The Makerbot branding belongs to Stratsys, one of the largest manufacturers of 3D printers and printing services in the business. They aren't making these on a Replicator 2. The Stratasys machines sell into six figures. These parts aren't being printed on Reprap style machines. These are high end industrial machines. A consumer machine like a Replicator 2 isn't capable of the material range or the speed of an industrial machine.

    As others have posted, it's not "pure profit". Such statements show a lack of understanding in how a business, any business including home based business work.

    There is software involved in not only the market integration to ebay but in the manufacturing space as well. If one were to download the app, they would see that for the phone case item is customizable by not only adding a name but in also changing the the properties of the edges of the case. There are tools like Autocad 123D but they require a more than passing knowledge of 3D modeling and these products are aimed at people that don't know how or even want to model objects.

    Some manufacturing business models sell the finished product at about five times the cost of material. Also custom products are able to fetch a premium markup for the cachet of having something unique (or at least the perception of being unique) or something that is made with input from the end user. In fact it's a fundamental pillar of that business model.

    While you are entitled to an opinion, it's not well informed with regards to what it takes to run a successful business or the mechanics and business models used in modern manufacturing.
  19. egoistaxx9 macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
  20. otismotive77 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2013
    cant wait to 3d print my own stuff, mind-blowing app.
  21. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    Plus lets not forget something very valuable that most consumers absolutely don't even think about these days when factoring in associated costs:

    VALUE !!!

    They're providing a service you don't have to do so its important to add in a few $$ for that. Lol
  22. iSayuSay macrumors 68030


    Feb 6, 2011
    Then I want to print a MacPro with i7 3770K and dual GTX Titan, USB 3 and Thunderbolt support
  23. everything-i macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2012
    London, UK
    If you are going to offer a commercial service with machines running all day every day the Makerbot2 wouldn't last 5 minutes. Printers for high volume production are very expensive. You also need to take operator costs and cost of finishing and packaging each item together with other fixed costs. All things considered the price seems pretty good.
  24. GaryMumford macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2008
    It will probably catch fire!

Share This Page