Etsy sellers like nervoussystem use 3D printing companies to produce their designs.Crafting and 3D printing
If you wanted to buy some homespun yarn or a bar of homemade soap, you might go shopping on Etsy. As one of the Internet's largest marketplaces for handmade products, Etsy boasts more than a million shops, each of which offers its own line of handcrafted products, craft supplies or vintage gear.
The shops that sell these 3D-printed creations often work with 3D-printing companies — like Shapeways, i.materialise, Kraftwurx, Ponoko or Sculpteo — to produce items for Etsy shoppers.
MORE: 15 Odd and Unusual Things That Can Be 3D Printed
Those companies also have their own marketplaces that sell to consumers. Although marketplaces that sell only 3D-printed goods are growing in both size and popularity, it's Etsy's acceptance of 3D printing that could really draw this technology out of its geeky niche and into the mainstream.
Is 3D printed the new handmade?
3D printing may not sound like a hands-on process. But according to Etsy's "marketplace criteria" for sellers, 3D-printed pieces that are incorporated into finished products are just as "handmade" as ceramic pots or sterling-silver jewelry.