Amazon Files Patent For 3D Manufacturing Orders In Delivery Vans
Amazon is in the limelight lately, as it is focusing to expand towards brick and mortar business as well. After buying stores from RadioShack, there was speculation that the stores would be used as a store front to sell Amazon’s own products like Kindle and Fire phone.
Amazon has now filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for a new delivery system which will allow the e-commerce giant to manufacture customers’ orders using 3D printing technology while the orders are on their way to the customers’ doorstep.
Amazon would now be able to print ordered items inside the delivery trucks which would be fitted with 3D printers, making the trucks “mobile manufacturing hubs.” This would result in lesser manufacturing, shipping and receiving times, and also eradicate the requirement of a warehouse and workers to manage the store. This on-the-go manufacturing and delivery process will help cut down costs to a massive level, simultaneously gaining customer satisfaction which the retailer company strives for basically.
“Increased space to store additional inventory may raise costs for the electronic marketplace,” said Amazon in its patent. “Additionally, time delays between receiving an order and shipping the item to the customer may reduce customer satisfaction and affect revenues generated. 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.”
Amazon is to experiment with a multitude of different 3D printing technologies, including fused deposition modeling, electron beam freeform fabrication, and direct metal laser sintering.
Apart from the rather unique strategy for manufacturing, another famous attempt to speed up delivery is by delivering packages via unmanned aircraft systems or drones, which would be controlled by operators on the ground.
However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits commercial entities from flying drones out of the operators’ line of sight, as per the new mandate, which obviously prevents Amazon from testing its delivery drones in the U.S. However, Amazon is not to back off, and is seeking other countries to launch its drone delivery program and come up with new ways to speed up delivery time for American customers.
Amazon had also filed a patent for “anticipatory delivery” in 2013 for a system which would assume what its customers want so that it could deliver goods to customers even before they decide what they want to buy. However, Amazon did not deploy the system, so it is possible that it might not launch its 3D printing delivery trucks either.