Early last year, Amazon, entered the 3D printing space rather quietly. Initially they teamed up with companies like Brooklyn, New York-based Mixee Labs to bring a customizable 3D printing experience to their customers. Clearly they see the potential in this upcoming market, one which threatens the entire fabric of the ecommerce sector.
Mixee Labs was founded in August of 2012 by Nancy Liang and Aaron Barnet. Since then, the company has grown substantially with a number of unique customizable designs, which customers can have 3D printed and shipped right to their doorsteps. Their flagship products to date, and the products which they unveiled on Amazon from the very start, are their Mixee Me mini bobblehead dolls. Users are able to completely customize their doll, changing the clothing, hairstyle, facial features and more, making it look like themselves, a friend, coworker, etc. Mixee Labs, however, offers dozens of other customizable products, ranging from 3D printed jewelry to 3D printed fantasy football trophies.
Amazon has clearly been intrigued by the company, and judging from the news this week, their early cooperation must have been a smashing success. Late Thursday, Mixee Labs announced a major partnership agreement with Amazon, furthering their cooperation.
As a part of this partnership, which the company stresses is not an acquisition, the Mixxe Labs team will be joining the Amazon 3D printing team full time, working besides them to further advance the Mixee Labs platform and cross promoting it on Amazon.com. Additionally, they will be bringing their proprietary software to Amazon.
“We want to make 3D printed products more accessible, and Amazon is the best place for that. We have been impressed by Amazon’s focus on customer experience, innovation, and long term thinking,” stated the Mixee Labs team on their blog.
Andrew Thomas of Shapeways will now be taking over operations at Mixee Labs, using his experience as a Customer Service Coordinator to improve upon customer experience at Mixee Labs. Thomas also is a designer who created the Fantasy Football Trophies for Mixee Labs last year, and will likely help the company expand their product offerings.
It will be very interesting to follow this story over the next several weeks and months ahead as Mixee Labs further integrates their software into Amazon’s platform, and likely begins offering new products as well. It’s an interesting move by Amazon to bring another company in to join their team, while not outright acquiring them, but certainly a move which will provide a launching point for Amazon to expand their 3D printed offerings.
Let’s hear your thoughts on this partnership. Discuss in the Amazon and Mixee Labs Partner forum thread on 3DPB.com.