Shapeways just celebrated its third birthday and while we're happy to see they're doing well and continuing to innovate, we asked ourselves if 3D printing is getting old?
- Shapeways is three years old.
- Fabbaloo has been posting since late 2007, some four years ago.
- Objet is twelve years old.
- Z Corp is sixteen years old.
- Stratasys was founded in 1990, 21 years ago.
- 3D Systems was founded in 1986, 25 years ago.
3D printing as a technology and business is definitely not new. What is new is that the ability to do it is now starting to reach into people's homes through the innovations of RepRap, MakerBot, BFB, PP3DP and many others. They've lowered the price of entry very dramatically and this will continue for many years yet.
The personal 3D printing generation is new. It's just been born, and has yet to grow and mature into a huge market space now awaiting innovation. Baby steps lead to giant leaps.