A positive trend in 3D printing these days is the focus on actual applications.
Early on the lifetime of 3D printing technology and especially when desktop 3D printers first emerged, the purpose of the 3D printer was perhaps vague.
Machines were considered generic towards applications, as an unstated feature was simply that “they could print anything”. And that belief in the mind of buyers, particularly for early desktop machines, drove the industry forward.
Then things changed and buyers realized they had to get specific value for their money. What, exactly, would they produce with the machine and how would it be profitable for them? Would the production of items be less expensive? Or could new items be made that could be sold for more money? Or both?
That are the questions people now focus on when considering a 3D printer for business.
Existing 3D print companies have been scrambling to address this need by implementing “industry verticals”, “case studies” or “training programs”, all designed to somehow educate the client in how the equipment might be specifically profitable in their industry.
Sometimes this works, sometimes not. But it’s a struggle for some companies as their machines were indeed designed without a specific industry purpose in mind. In particular, I see a great number of companies fighting over the education market, where it is relatively easy to address (as opposed to aerospace, dental or automotive industries.)
However, there is one company that apparently has done this quite differently: Massivit 3D, based in Israel.
The company produces 3D printers that can make rather large objects using its “Gel Dispensing Printing” technology. The build volume on their Massivit 1800 is 1500 x 1200 x 1800mm, certainly huge!
They’ve recently announced significant growth numbers for their business, but I am more interested in how they got there.
When they first appeared a year ago I thought it very curious they chose to release their product at a 2D mostly-paper printing trade show event, Drupal, rather than doing so at any of the major 3D print events.
But it appears they had a very focused strategy at play. While their machine can print large objects - and by the way, so can several of their competitors - they selected a very specific market to target: advertising and promotion.
That’s why they went to the Drupal event; it’s because that’s where they would find advertisers and promoters, looking for ways to do advertising and promotion.
It seems to also be a reason for their success, as they’ve positioned their machine as a way for that market to print very large promotional objects. They’ve hit on a great market.
And they did so by ignoring the rest of the market for large 3D printed objects.
Generic 3D printers may be technically powerful, but unless the market “knows” it is for them, they may not buy it. Focus on application is a critical aspect for any 3D printer manufacturer these days.
Via Massivit 3D