3D printing is slowly but definitely taking off and while we still can’t print cars or food, the concept is changing how a lot of things are done. eBay Exact is a new iOS app by eBay itself that helps you find and customize 3D-printed merchandise available for sale on the popular e-commerce site. The list of items is modest at the moment but the app not only makes it super-easy for you to find such items, but also to customize them. You can choose colors, customize patterns, and add engravings, images and more to items that allow you to do so. Once you’ve customized the item, you will be able to purchase it directly from the app.
Open eBay Exact and go through the list of 3D printed items that are available. It’s a rather small list, but features things like phone accessories and jewelry. Remember that not all items can be customized the same way, and the customization options available for each particular item have been set by its manufacturers themselves. Select the item you want to buy and tap the ‘Customize’ button under it’s preview to make changes.
The options you see will depend on your product; the one we selected – an iPhone case – allowed a lot of customization. For starters, you can select if you want it for the iPhone 4/4S or the iPhone 5. Furthermore, curves of the case and their width can also be customized. Lastly, you can add a carving added and select a photo or color for it. Once you’ve customized the item, tap ‘next’.
The app gives you a full, rotating preview of your final product. You get to look at it from every angle, and the high quality image gives you a reasonably good idea of what the texture of the item will look like. Tap done and you can proceed to either buying it or go back and make more changes if you don’t like how it has turned out.
As you makes changes to a product, some of them might increase its price, but you will be informed when you are making any such customization that carries an extra charge. For manufacturers who use 3D printers to make their products, this is an excellent way to showcase and sell their products, because it’s possibly the best way for the average consumer to find 3D printed items. The final preview does take a little time to render, but that has more to do with the nature of the item than it does with the app’s performance.