Searchers of Google Tell a Pessimistic Attitude Toward 3D Printing

Google searches reveal all

Google searches reveal all

For fun I used Google’s famous search autofill to see what people are searching for when specifying a number of 3D printing companies. The results are very clear. 

This highly useful feature pre-fills the search bar with the most frequently seen search requests received by Google. Quite often you’ll find the search you intended to type, but save the keystrokes. 

The side effect of this feature is that you can see, to some degree, the requests others are making that are similar to your request. 

I tried this by attempting searches on “WHY IS [fill in name of 3D printing company]” to see any results. 

It turns out that for almost all 3D printing companies there are insufficient searches to provide any results. However, for the biggest and most notable companies there are some results. Let’s take a look at them, shall we? 

First, Stratasys: 

Google search for Stratasys

Google search for Stratasys

Oh dear, this isn’t very positive. It seems that the stock downturn of the past two years is still a hot topic among searchers. 

Now, 3D Systems: 

Google search for 3D Systems

Google search for 3D Systems

Hm, an identical search. But then again, 3D Systems’ stock also plummeted in a pattern quite similar to Stratasys. 

How about Arcam, a maker of industrial metal 3D printers:

Google search for Arcam

Google search for Arcam

Ouch! Same search yet again! 

MakerBot: 

Google search for MakerBot

Google search for MakerBot

Here we see a concern not about stock price (which is irrelevant for MakerBot because it doesn’t have publicly traded stock), but instead pricing. Also there seems to be residual concern about MakerBot’s fifth generation extruder, which has subsequently been fixed

Surely Ultimaker would have some positive searches: 

Google search for Ultimaker

Google search for Ultimaker

Apparently not. It may be that the public is confused between low-cost, less reliable and less capable machines and higher-cost more robust machines. In other words, if I can buy a 3D printer for $250, why is that other machine so expensive? Aren’t they the same thing? 

No, they’re not. 

How about a 3D print service, like Shapeways? 

Google search for Shapeways

Google search for Shapeways

Sigh. Again the same question. 

From this it appears that people’s concerns with these companies (and presumably smaller companies that didn’t have sufficient search data) relate to stock price and product price. Cash is King; It’s all about the money! 

But what about the technology itself? I searched for “3D printing”:

Google search for 3D printing

Google search for 3D printing

Aha! These are questions about the technology itself, although basic in nature. This tells me that the public is still curious about 3D printing, and seeks fundamental knowledge. There’s hope yet.

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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