3D Printing Under $2000 by 2016?


3D printing has a lot of possible applications, from its potential use in creating custom models and toys, to making easy to create computer components the technology is almost limitless. The only real limits on the industry right now is the fact that 3D printing is expensive After all the technology is in its infancy and that usually makes it expensive. For now the technology is out of reach of many of the people who would like to use them, people without corporate or research budgets on hand.

But in the next couple of years that may all be changing. According to noted research firm Gartner the cost of 3D printing is going to be dropping significantly in the next couple of years. The company is estimating that by the year 2016 the printers will be less than $2,000 to own.

“3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. “It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas. From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas — such as using 3D printers on asteroids and the moon to create parts for spacecraft and lunar bases — the hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises.”

For now the company has no idea who may be offering them to the public, but they do have an idea for the business model behind it. They imagine a pick up, drop off system similar to old fashioned photos, or a mobile watch while it prints scenario. More detailed analysis is available in the report “How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities.” The report is available on Gartner's website.

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