Stratasys, the makers of the popular Dimension series of 3D printers, seems to be doing very well indeed. They shipped some 521 units in the 3rd quarter, improved over 383 for the previous quarter in 2006. From the release:
We expect to maintain positive momentum in our high-end system business, with another new product introduction planned for later this year. At our global users’ conference in September, direct digital manufacturing applications using our proprietary FDM technology were highlighted by several global companies. Our next FDM product should further strengthen our value proposition for these types of applications.
We have shipped more than 2,000 units over the past twelve months, driven by a continuation of strong growth within our 3D printer business. We are planning for 4,000 units per year, with a longer-term vision of 13,000 units per year. We believe that achieving these unit volumes should translate into strong growth for our high-margin consumables.
By watching the big companies in 3D printing we can see growth starting. As demand rises there eventually could be a breakthrough where low-cost consumer versions will appear.