Check out FIRSTBUILD’s website to see one example of how on-line and physical retailing are being blended together . . .
Architect magazine originally reported on how GE Appliances, Local Motors, and Makerbot are teaming up to launch a crowd-source, product design collaborative.  There is a design competition, in which the winning project will be 3D printed for display at MakerBot retail stores.
http://www.architectmagazine.com/products/ge-and-localmotors-firstbuild-continues-to-hack-the-residential-kitchen_o.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=jump&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ANW_111014&day=2014-11-10&he=e749b8e8e3208b01643d06708f7ee5e09514ec3e
But when you go to the FIRSTBUILD website, you can start to see one possible model of how an on-line presence can become a manufacturer’s front door, inviting consumers to be part of their community.  Rather than being a passive consumer, voting with their dollars for a manufacturer’s finite product selection, one can become an engaged part of their ecosystem; an active participant, co-creating products that one desires.
This may not be to everyone’s taste, since it is so much more easier (and time efficient) to just point and click on some established product, but it is an engaging option that will undoubtedly become more prevalent . . .
https://firstbuild.com
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