This week is the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We’ll be on the ground checking out the latest gear.
Of particular interest to us is the “3D Printing” designated zone in the Sands Hotel, Level 2. Designating a specific area for 3D printing at CES was a milestone for the industry last year, as previously the technology was not officially “recognized”, like “Wearables”, “Robotics”, and our vendors were randomly spread around the massive show floors. As of last year, virtually all the 3D printing gear is in one place and promoted as such. Nevertheless, there are a few strays that likely did not make the cut to get into the limited space of the 3D Printing zone.
This event has often been the major site of 3D printing vendor announcements, particularly for personal 3D printing manufacturers. The reason? It’s simply due to the epic quantity of media present. At CES, any group of visible individuals will no doubt hold several journalists. With that media presence, an announcement can easily make its way into major media, generating a lot of buzz.
Last year we saw major announcements from MakerBot and 3D Systems. This year we know MakerBot does not plan to announce new products, but we’re expecting to see new equipment from many other vendors.
Resin 3D printers bloomed at the 2014 CES, but we suspect this year will be one of product refinement. We expect vendors to display slicker products with consumer-attracting cases and simplified workflows.
In particular, content will be important. The vast number of personal 3D printers sold in the past year will demand 3D models to print. That’s how the vendors will increase their sales: by making their products more useful through content. We expect to see several vendors deploy new functions related to content strategies.
Regardless of what happens, we’ll find out. Meanwhile, if you’re attending CES and would like to show us something or just have a chat, please let us know!