Mar.12, 2014

Researchers have discovered over one in 10 British adults are already sold on the benefits of having a printer in the home which can 'create' things like smart phone cases, picture frames and children's toys.

As such, over 5 million adults would be prepared to spend over £500 on a 3D printer if the technology was easy to use, according to research agency OnePoll. UK has around 49 million adults (ONS figures), and if 11.8% of people are prepared to spend £500 or more on a 3D printer, the UK 3D printing market will be worth £2.9bn.

But there is some hesitation about the usefulness of the 3D printer, with four in 10 adults admitting they would have no idea what to do with one.

Chris Elsworthy, CEO of Robox, said: "3D printing has already made its mark in the technology community, but where the general homeowner is concerned, there is still a long way to go.

"We're finding British adults are becoming more and more receptive to trying new technologies, but as with anything unknown, it will take a while to educate people on why 3D printers can be so good for the home.

"And to date, the majority of the printers being produced haven't been accessible to the consumer – they are massively expensive, the technologies are overly complicated and they have no place on the desk as they're huge.

"But we're finding more and more people would love to have a printer if it looked great, was relatively cheap and they had a clear idea of how to use it."

The study of 1,000 adults shows many would like to get creative with a 3D printer, with a third welcoming the opportunity to create replacement DIY products such as wall hooks, brackets and door handles without having to visit the local home wares store.

Similarly, a quarter of Brits admit they have very little time to shop for gifts for family and friends, and believe a 'homemade' present would go down just as well.

A fifth of people like the idea of being able to create their own phone case or tablet cover, while the same percentage would love to deck out the kitchen with customised kit such as coffee cups, cake cutters and utensils.

Hanging pictures, making photo frames, kitting out party bags for children's Birthdays and designing fashion items such as jewellery or belts are amongst the other tasks which are encouraging the population to think about buying a 3D printer when one becomes available and affordable. While others would be keen to try their hand at saving money on children's toys by replicating Lego bricks, creating action figures, and replacing missing games pieces.

Elsworthy said: "The fact is the possibilities are endless for 3D printing, as you can pretty much make or replicate anything for the home.

"We're already getting loads of interest from local schools which are desperate to trial the robox because children in particular are so receptive to new technology, and are easily able to understand what they can print and how."

The company's Robox 3D printer, which will launch in the UK and US in early 2014 at a RRP of £849/$1,364, has been designed to be a 'plug and print' model that anyone can use at home. It is a stylish 3D printer that features a revolutionary 'dual nozzle FFF head' which has one nozzle for printing a highly detailed surface, and the other for fast-filling. The Robox printer also includes automatic build platform levelling and features a closed feedback loop and dual-pinch-wheel extrusion system.

"3D printing is the future, it'll be an ongoing education for many people but the findings of this study are incredibly encouraging as they show that even without there currently being 3D printers on the market to buy, the interest is already there." Elsworthy said.

The study also found that currently, men are twice as likely to consider buying a 3D printer as women, showing their obsession for gadgets knows no limits.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger people are more receptive to the idea of being able to print out things for their home – with those aged 18 to 44 more likely to entertain the idea of having the new technology in the home than those entering their fifties and sixties.

And tellingly, only 12 per cent of British adults claim they "don't know" what a 3D printer actually is.


  1. Custom items for the home
  2. Replacement parts, fixings or tools
  3. Gifts and presents for friends and family
  4. Homemade Christmas decorations
  5. Creating accessories for existing gadgets
  6. Custom kitchenware
  7. Designing jewellery and accessories
  8. Children's toys
  9. Home office supplies
  10. Wedding and party favours

Posted in 3D Printing Technology


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