Amazon Wants to 3D Print Your Purchase in the Back of its Delivery Van

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Amazon is a keen experimenter, especially when it comes to delivery. Now though, a new patent suggests that it's thinking of 3D-printing its products as they make their way to you.

3Dprint has unearthed a patent which explains that it could print three-dimensional goods on-demand for customers — which it already does — even from the inside if its delivery trucks. In turn, it could get products out faster; the only limiting factor could, in theory, be the journey time. There are clear benefits for Amazon too, such as not having to actually store the products anywhere at all.

Amazon Wants to 3D Print Your Purchase in the Back of Its Delivery Van

"Time delays between receiving an order and shipping the item to the customer may reduce customer satisfaction and affect revenues generated," Amazon write in the patent application. "Accordingly, an electronic marketplace may find it desirable to decrease the amount of warehouse or inventory storage space needed, to reduce the amount of time consumed between receiving an order and delivering the item to the customer, or both."

It's easy to see the charm, for both customer and Amazon. While the company has yet to be awarded patents for the mobile manufacturing plants, you can bet that it's not too far off. After all, if a company is keen to deliver your good using drones, kitting out a truck with a 3D printer must be child's play. [3DPrint, Wall Street Journal]