We're reading a curious post on EconomyWatch in which they describe the incredible future of 3D printing. In their post, they list the "Top Ten Players in the 3D Printing Industry Today". Here's their list:
- 3D Systems (printers)
- Autodesk (CAD software)
- Desktop Factory (printer)
- Makerbot Industries (printers)
- Shapeways (service)
- Bespoke Innovations (artificial limbs)
- Sweet Onion Creations (service)
- Freedom of Creation (3D products)
- Contour Crafting (buildings)
- HP and Google (printers) and (software)
We have a couple of problems with this list of ten. Firstly, it's actually eleven items, not ten. Secondly, Desktop Factory has been defunct for almost two years, and we haven't heard a peep from Contour Crafting for a very, very long time. It's hard to believe hey are in the top ten, erm, eleven.
That's the problem with this type of list: how does one rank the entries? Is it ranked by revenue? Profit? Any financial ranking would be tricky because only two manufacturers (3D Systems and Stratasys) are publicly traded and thus release their financial information. The rest are privately held and secret - but likely much smaller than the big two.
If you're ranking by other factors, such as "buzz", that's even harder to quantify. Number of units? Maybe, but again these are not generally published. Importance to the industry? Again, hard to quantify.
What's our list? We'd have two lists, one for big-time commercial players and another for non-profit or low-volume industry influencers. Will you get to see these lists? Sure, but not today!