Over 217,000 3D printers will ship in 2015, but this is only the start of a headlong rush for people buying the devices.
A report from the Gartner Group estimates that 108,151 3D printers will ship this year, but shipments will double between 2015 and 2018. Worldwide shipments then will be around 2.3 million.
It’s 30 years since the first 3D printers were invented, surprisingly, but unit shipment growth rates were trifling. Gartner thinks that the 2.3 millin shipments in 2018 are only the beginning of the matter.
Gartner said 3D printers which use material extrusion will be the dominant technology and drivers for 3D printers include models costing less than $1,000, improved quality and a wider range of materials used to print.
The market will be worth about $6.9 billion in 2018, it predicts as vendors add features and improve performance.
Dutch firm Royal Philips has shown off what it says are the world’s first 3D printed “smart” luminaries.
The luminaries are part of its “Hue” range, and Philips said that a finger swipe on smartphone or tablet allows you to create any number of personal light effects from a palette of 16 million hues, shades of white and programmable scenes.
Philips lets you create table and pendant luminaries to order at www.meethue.com while you can also order them from London store Selfridges.
Philips also showed off a bright white LED bulb which you can control from your tablet or smartphone. The Hue “lux” retrofits into existing A19 luminaries.
Because your gizmo controls them you can turn your lights on and off from anywhere in the world you can get connected. Applications include linking the app to alert you to stormy weather, link to stock tickers, link to sportsfeed, or to your Facebook page.
Philips also showed off Convo Lights, which can notify deaf people when there are other audible signals they might miss.