Amazon already has plans to disrupt the supply chain but now they have their sights set on manufacturing. The online retailer was just granted a patent for an integrated on-demand apparel [...]

 

Source: Amazon Sets Their Sights On Apparel Manufacturing

 

3D printing and manufacturing has an element of the 90s when the internet began to take shape and dot com companies began to spring up. Amazon was one of those companies and they have become the strongest business in the world. It seems like a story that's perfect for the upstart companies expanding and developing new technology for the additive manufacturing startup community.

 

There is an underlying problem with Amazon setting their sites on an industry. Amazon has a built in client list with Amazon Prime and they have all but removed the final barrier to ease in ordering and convenience with Amazon Echo. This sounds like it is not a problem, but this is the issue. Right now a startup like FEETZ is utilizing 3D to develop a strong company through the personalization of footwear. Customers are searching for their brand and ordering. As 3D becomes more commonplace a company like Amazon enters the market and the dynamic shifts from small business and the effects can be devastating.

 

This is not an op-ed that rails against big business. It's an analysis of Amazon's interest in the improvement of 3D printing in garments Right now 3D printing isn't quite smooth enough to produce wearable clothing at the right price. Once it is in a position to create a shirt using a fabric that moves and feels like cotton sewn by a seamstress, Amazon will undoubtedly incorporate it into their private labels and this is where the problem lies.

 

If you've every taken a moment to look up Amazon Essentials or a company like Lark and Ro, you will realize that Amazon is creating mirror image companies based on P&G and apparel. These companies rank higher and show up in search more than small marketplace stores (small biz) and even established companies on the Amazon platform. It's a disruption that improves Amazon's bottom line, but does not bode well for job creation and private business growth. The source article is looking at Amazon's interest as a good thing... but it would be wise to look closely at how the A to Z company is approaching 3D.