View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
May 16, 2014

3D printing ‘has no useful consumer application’

The industry has received a lot of attention with the recent availability of consumer printers.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

3D printing vendors have produced no "compelling" application in the consumer market despite the on-going hype attached to cheaper, household models.

This could see firms such as 3D Systems, Stratasys and Afinia struggle to kick off sales, according to Pete Basiliere, a research director at analyst firm Gartner.

"There’s nothing really compelling from a consumer perspective. If you need a replacement part for your kitchen cabinet or latch on your dishwasher or oven, you can go to the hardware store or go online and buy that. You don’t necessarily have to build it," he told CBR.

"The same holds true with gifts, you could go to the store to buy a gift or go online but a lot of people are making their own things so there’s a place for having a 3D printer in the home."

When asked what kind of applications would capture the imagination of consumers, he pointed to applications that support education.

"I think one of the best uses for 3D printers in the home is to compliment your child’s education. For example, projects that are being done for school, particularly for secondary education or university, where students are being exposed to design and engineering," he said.

Content from our partners
Sherif Tawfik: The Middle East and Africa are ready to lead on the climate
What to look for in a modern ERP system
How tech leaders can keep energy costs down and meet efficiency goals

"If you have a child in high school or college, having the ability to print a model that you worked on as part of a classroom curriculum has real value."

He went on to say that a compelling consumer application would surface by 2016.

While 3D printing has been around for more than 30 years, the industry has received a lot of attention with the recent availability of consumer printers.

A study by analyst firm Juniper Research suggested sales will jump from an estimated 44,000 this year to one million by 2018 as prices fall and more established printing vendors, such as HP, enter the market.

 

Topics in this article :
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU