With all the kerfuffle last week (Shapeways gets major investment, New MakerBot 3D printer shown at NYC MakerFaire, Massive New York Times article) it seems that at least a few stockbrokers are taking notice of the 3D print industry. The broker we spoke with actually “got it” and could not stop talking about how this technology will revolutionize things in the future. “Did you know that you can print spare parts?” Yes. We do.
But there’s a problem for the stockbrokers. There are few opportunities for individual investment as there seems to be only two 3D printer companies that have issued public stock: 3D Systems and Stratasys. The other manufacturers seem to be privately held or are wild and crazy startup companies. So unless you have an “in” or are blessed with ownership of a venture capital company, you’ll have to buy either TDSC or SSYS.
However, if you could, which 3D printer companies would you invest in? The leading commercial vendors? One of the hobbyist manufacturers? Perhaps one of the print services?
Thanks for the advice! Back to Blender!
That's a fair question that we should deal with in a future post. However, we'd recommend focusing on 3D modeling, as that is where the majority of the work is after the printer is up and running. Mechanical and electrical engineering may be another focus, depending on the nature of the startup. Nevertheless, a 3D print company has generic needs just like any other company, including such disciplines as web programming, project management, sales and even financial management.
What I want to know is: where do I start to learn about 3d Printings as someone who wants to get involved with crazy 3D printing start ups? What skills are most vital to 3D printers currently that I can acquire? Currently I'm working on my CAD and my Ruby Programming skills, but what should I focus on?