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Amazon wants delivery trucks to 3D print orders on the move

Amazon wants its delivery trucks to also be storage warehouses and 3D-printers.

The company filed for a patent (opens in new tab)(PDF), which describes a service where customers can order items to be remotely made and shipped by Amazon, or sometimes 3D printed by the transportation vehicles which deliver the goods to them.

Amazon thinks this will save them money, as it eliminates the need for warehouses to import and store the goods at. Also, 3D printing things mean the customers would get them quicker.

"Increased space to store additional inventory may raise costs for the electronic marketplace. Additionally, time delays between receiving an order and shipping the item to the customer may reduce customer satisfaction and affect revenues generated," Amazon writes in the 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."

Also, these 3D printers could be mounted within delivery trucks and vans, which would be able to print people’s orders while they’re up and about.

"By 'mobile', we mean that the position of the 3D manufacturing apparatus changes because it is mounted within or contained within a moving vehicle or other structure," Amazon wrote.

Amazon is an extremely forward-thinking company when it comes to using advanced technology for business. It recently deployed 15,000 robots (opens in new tab) in its warehouses to help workers get items more quickly, and is still trying to make the drone delivery system (opens in new tab) work.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.