Sep.22, 2013


Need a toy, just print it out. Need a dress with your very own label... just design one and hit print. It doesn't stop there. Last month, Nasa commissioned the production of a 3D printer that can make food, instead of just plastic products.

3D printing was invented about 30 years ago, but its appeal has shot up in recent years. Earlier this year, President Obama gave the sector a shout-out in his State of the Union speech as one of the areas for growth. Since then 3D printing stocks have been on a tear. 3D Systems is up 30 percent for the year. The company reported results Tuesday. It missed profit estimates, as its high margins materials business shrank for the quarter. Sales of printers though nearly doubled.

But there is skepticism about whether this is going to be a living room device anytime soon. Experts say there's no place for it next to our telephone, TV or even regular printer. Pete Pachal, tech editor at Mashable: "I don't know if it's quite going to get to that level of say everyday inkjets where everyone has one now. There's obviously a cost involved with 3D printer that's a little more and the materials themselves for 3D printers cost a little bit more. But also is there really a need, do you need to print out objects. Everyone could use it, could use that service on some level, like just thinking of toys and hobbies like Lego blocks or something similar you could print out. But is that as necessary as paper. Not really."

3D Systems is now offering a compact, everyday version called Cube, available in an array of colors, kind of like an iPod. This one retails for $1,299. In a push to consumers, the Cube just started selling at B&H in Manhattan last week. But the real area for growth lies in selling those printers to offices, small businesses and stores who need prototypes for products and need them fast.


Source: Reuters


Posted in 3D Printing Technology



Maybe you also like:


Julia wrote at 9/24/2013 1:30:22 AM:

@Proteus: The reason we have all these people trying to decide if it's ready for the mass market or not is that that's what "investors" want to know. You're right that users like us don't care, we're just using them.

Proteus wrote at 9/23/2013 5:41:59 AM:

Hmm, why do we have all these people telling us that 3d printing will or won't 'take off'? Who cares? 3D printers will naturally get cheaper because of progression of technology, I could honestly care LESS if it became a "living room device" (Which it won't, not ATM, too dangerous/difficult to use, I didn't need to do a study to tell you that).

jd90 wrote at 9/22/2013 9:42:41 PM:

Who said 3D printers are living room devices? Maybe more like home office devices. I think currently, they're for designers, engineers & hobbyists. But that might expand. There doesn't seem to be a "killer app" to compel most households to get one, not yet. I don't think it's possible to "stick it to the man" with 3D printers, as material costs and machine times are considerable issues, not to mention that FFF generally doesn't have the same surface finish and durability as a factory made part.

Julia wrote at 9/22/2013 3:10:07 PM:

3D printing involves hot surfaces, sharp tools, dangerous chemicals, space requirements, regular maintenance and debugging, and a constant rain of little bits of plastic. Definitely a hobby/pro and not a mass-market consumer item at this time.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive