One of the growing ‘sidelines’ in the 3D printing industry is that of industry reports.
It’s hardly a surprising phenomenon given the meteoric rise of 3D printing across various industry sectors and the media in the last decade or so. Reports of this nature, if researched correctly and presented objectively, can provide valuable insight for companies assessing technology uptake and implementation. The increasing frequency of different 3D printing industry reports would also suggest there is a market for such.
The reason I bring it up now though is because the most recent report headline that dropped, unsolicited, into my inbox was this little gem: ”Strategic Analysis of the Additive Manufacturing Market in Australia – High Growth Potential for Additive Manufacturing as a Service.”
My first thought, literally, was “Duh!!” It may even have been out loud. I work at home, alone, so there is no one to prove that one way or the other, but it wouldn’t be the first time! I was about to relegate it to my digital bin but something stopped me and I took a closer look. Not because of the report itself but because of my reaction to it. The reason I had thought/said “Duh!” was because this headline was, to me at least, beyond obvious and did it even need said that given the current status of the industry that there is massive potential for the growth of 3D printing / Additive Manufacturing services — in Australia as well as every other country on earth?
But even when I did look closer, in this particular case, I don’t actually think it does need said, at least not in a report that will cost you a couple of thousand dollars for a single copy or upwards of three thousand dollars for an enterprise wide copy. The way I see it, even for anyone that knows nothing about 3D printing, 20 minutes of Googling would probably throw up similar information to what is in this report, a vague description of which can be found here. It would not be hard to find reliable information about the growth of the industry; 3D printing as a service or the potential thereof; or, with maybe another 20 minutes on Google, how this pertains specifically to a geographic region. Thus, personally, I think 40 minutes (give or take) versus USD$2,000 is a rip off.
That is not to say that all “reports” fall into this category though. I know for a fact that there are good sources of information out there via industry reports. I’ve edited a fair few in my time, even contributed to a couple and I believe the validity and value of well-researched reports are beyond question. I guess the point of this post is to highlight another growing sideline of the 3D printing industry, but red flagging the fact that as with other parts of the 3D printing ecosystem, there is definitely some ‘bandwagonism’ going on and not to take all industy reports at face value.