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Gartner sees a big future for 3-D printing supplies and services

There are a lot of companies, analysts, and researchers who believe 3-D printing technology is going to be huge in the future. 3-D printers use various forms of media to print 3-D physical objects that you can hold and use for various tasks. Research firm Gartner recently issued a report claiming that early adopters of 3-D printing technology could gain an innovation advantage over rival firms.

Gartner says that enterprises should begin experimenting with 3-D printing technology as a way to improve traditional product design and prototyping. Gartner sees 3-D printing as having the potential to allow for the creation of new product lines and markets. The company also believes that 3-D printing will be available to consumers via kiosks and print shop style services creating new opportunities for retailers.

Cheaper 3-D printers will lower the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lower the barriers to the selling of items according to Gartner. The company believes that 3-D printer technology will move from the niche markets to broader acceptance thereby reducing the price of 3-D printing devices. According to Gartner, by 2016 enterprise class 3-D printers will be available for under $2,000.

“We see 3D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner.

Gartner sees a future with multinational retailers supplying consumers and making money by selling printers and print supplies as well as individual 3-D printed pieces. Another possible way to make money with 3-D printing technology would be roving display vans that visit a retailer store where consumers can order customized 3-D items while they shop.

Source: Gartner

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By Hakuryu on 3/29/2013 11:41:13 AM , Rating: 2
Cool, I might consider buying one at around that price.

Lets just hope these don't follow regular printer rules, with the 'ink' refills costing $20,000.

By Mitch101 on 3/29/2013 1:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
Why wait look up RepRap or Solidoodle.

By bebimbap on 3/29/2013 2:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how long that $43 spindle lasts because people that have done 3d printing says the main barrier to usage is cost of materials.

By Bubbacub on 3/29/2013 3:59:16 PM , Rating: 3
the price of a spool of 1mm PLA at the moment is a massive scam.

the sellers know that customers have spent hundreds of dollars and more importantly many weeks of their own time in building reprap type devices - they thus know that they can charge almost as much as they want and will get away with it.

im pretty sure once some chinese slave labour factories get conscripted into mass producing it the price will drop to a price that reflects the actual cost of material.

By Totally on 3/30/2013 12:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Once 3d printing takes off, I doubt they'll stay at those prices for long, when companies start looking for ways to squeeze money out of people.

By sigmatau on 3/29/2013 1:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
Lot's of missing information in the article. Most enterprise printers already cost more than $2000. Some color models can go over $10,000 easily.

It's nice to know that entry into the market is $2000, but what is the cost of a print? A refill? Have they reduced the cost of a print below $200 yet?

By drycrust3 on 3/29/2013 10:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on whether what you print out is worth more than $20,000 or not. If it is, then the $20,000 could well be considered a cheap price to pay.

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