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Amazon Wins On-Demand Patent, Moves Deeper Into Manufacturing

Textile assembly line manufacturing
NASSA Group production line

Amazon has received a patent for a manufacturing system that will allow the online retailer to produce clothing on demand after a customer places an order.

The patented production process includes an assembly line, cutters, textile printers and cameras to provide feedback for future orders, Recode reports.

“By aggregating orders from various geographic locations and coordinating apparel assembly processes on a large scale, the embodiments provide new ways to increase efficiency in apparel manufacturing,” reads one section of the patent.

The e-commerce behemoth applied for the patent near the end of 2015, the same year 3D printing startup Mixee Labs announced it had joined the Amazon team. Mixee Labs co-founders Aaron Barnet and Nancy Liang are among those named in the patent as inventors of this computerized system. 

There is no indication a facility of this type is under construction, but the patent does suggest Amazon is interested in doing more of its own manufacturing. This patent is not limited to clothing — the inventors made it clear the same system can be used to make anything from footwear to curtains using multiple types of materials.