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Online retailer integrated 3D printing for product previews

13 June 2014 - 12:08 by Mike Price

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People flock to the web to find bargains, even if the item they are buying is worth thousands of pounds anyway. In fact, safe shopping online has made it easier to find affordable wedding and engagement rings for happy couples in the UK in the past few years.

However, one of the issues with buying a ring online is that you are not guaranteed of getting a good fit, nor being particularly enamoured with the style of the item, once you actually have it in your hand. And having to return such an expensive item, diamond and all, can be a hassle.

Gizmodo reports that jewellery retailer,, has come up with a novel way to overcome this problem, all thanks to 3D printing.

The idea is that people who are shopping for rings can download a file that lets them print off a plastic replica of their intended band, which fits the exact size and measurements of the real thing. Of course, you will need access to a 3D printer for this to be a possibility, but they are becoming more widely available and affordable at the moment, so it is not an entirely outlandish idea.

Because buyers will be able to get a better sense of what a real ring will look like, this sampling service could soon be rolled out to other areas of the e-commerce market.

Eventually, 3D printing will not just be used for this type of practice, but will be harnessed to help people create products that can actually be used immediately.

The idea is that you will buy a digital file via safe shopping online and then be able to print out almost anything in your own home, rather than waiting for it to be delivered. The future of 3D printing is very exciting indeed.