Top 5 Reasons To Get Into the 3D Printer Market?

By on February 17th, 2010 in Ideas


Channel Insider writes of five reasons they believe value added resellers should consider adding 3D printers to their catalog of products. Let’s examine their rationale:

Reason # 1: Soaring Market Growth Who knew? The 3D printing market is in major growth mode. In a down economy, companies that want to stay afloat need to innovate and get products to market as fast as possible. According to analysts, companies spent $156.4M on 3D printing technologies in 2008, and the market is expected to double by 2015.

This is entirely true. While many manufacturers completely collapsed, 3D printer makers have generally made it through fairly well, and some are expanding dramatically today. There is no reason to expect this to halt or even slow anytime soon.

Reason : Hot Tech Means Cool Company 3D printing is hot and, it’s cool. Today’s engineering and architectural students are using printers in their labs, and will expect to use them in the future which means an increase in market demand over the next decade. Plus, the technology is getting smaller and more affordable so companies can bring it in house instead of outsourcing to third party printing companies. That means a bigger marketplace and more VAR opportunities.

This is also quite true. We’ve seen many examples of educational institutions installing 3D printing equipment so that students can learn how to design and produce objects at on a small, one-off basis. But Channel Insider should also know there are a vast and growing number of hobbyists using very inexpensive 3D printing equipment such as MakerBot, RepRap and RapMan – and many of them may work in firms where their familiarity with the concept could influence buying decisions.

Reason : Recurring Revenue Customers can’t waltz into Staples and buy human tissue – not yet, anyway—or patented resin for printing. That means customers need to keep coming back to suppliers to purchase printing supplies to keep their 3D printer producing.

Yes, but our wallet is beginning to throb a bit.

Reason : The Future (and Market) is Wide Open Objet Geometries is one of a handful of 3D printer vendors, and one of the only that taps resellers like Massachusetts-based CADD Edge to broaden their reach. Chances are, VARs won’t be competing on price as they may be the only reseller in their geography.

This will likely change as 3D printer manufacturers continue to expand and as they increasingly encounter each other, competition will no doubt erupt.

Reason #5: Complementary Solutions A 3D Printer can help bring along sales in other higher margin product lines like Cadd software. Tim Preston, owner of reseller CADD Edge started selling SolidWorks solutions and, then, combined the offering with an Objet printer for positive results.

This can occur on occasion, but it’s more than likely many shops already have such software if they were doing any 3D work previously. And then there’s the open source angle, too.

We’re in agreement with Channel Insider – resellers should definitely begin handling 3D printers and associated software, services and consumables if they haven’t already done so. This will go a long way to growing not only the number of 3D printers in the world, but also educate a great many more people on the concept.

Via Channel Insider

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By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo 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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