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News Brief: It’s been a long time coming, but today Amazon can say it holds the patent for a retailing system that can take custom orders for 3-D printed items, get them made, and have them sent out for delivery or picked up by the customer. The system has been the subject of multiple patent applications over the past five years, and my GeekWire colleague Frank Catalano delved into the idea in depth almost three years ago. Is it an idea whose time has come, or whose time has passed? Hard to tell: Amazon set up an online store for custom 3-D printing back in 2014, but that part of the website currently offers only 3-D printing hardware and supplies.

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