Tag: 3d printing

HP is making inroads into 3D printing

o-OFFICE-3D-PRINTER-facebookA while back HP promised that it would take the lead in 3D printing and it is starting to look like it is making good on that promise.

Vendor snuck into fifth place in industrial 3D printer market in Q2, four years after Meg Whitman declared that HP intended to lead the market. To be fair though HP has only had products in the 3D printer market for a year and to get to the top five from no-where is some feat.

With its Jet Fusion line up, HP sold $13.5 million of industrial 3D printer hardware in the second quarter of 2017.

According to beancounters at Context HP took a four percent share of the industrial segment of the market in Q2, behind names that will be less familiar to the channel, namely market leader Stratasys, EOS, GE Additive and 3D Systems.

HP began “pushing strongly” into the channel in the first half of the year, “setting itself up for further growth later this year and beyond”, Context said.

The industrial sub-segment Jet Fusion plays in has experienced mixed fortunes since then, with unit shipments declining in both 2015 and 2016.

Context predicts that the industrial sector will return to growth in 2017, partly thanks to the fresh blood that has entered the market.

Polymer machines continued to dominate the market in Q2, accounting for 90 per cent of the unit volume sales and 61 percent of the printer revenues, Context said.

While HP’s machines are initially focused on polymers, GE Additive – which is another new entrant to the top five – focuses on metal 3D printing.

Context vice president of global analysis Chris Connery said that there was a four per cent decline in the number of industrial/professional 3D printers shipped in the second quarter of this year compared to the earlier year, but the average selling price of these machines continued to climb.

“It now seems that both these trends will change in the second half of 2017. Average selling prices are set to drop with the shipment of new category of lower priced metal-printing machines helping to promote new growth.

“For polymer 3D printing, growth is expected from select technologies as this side of the market continues to penetrate into the manufacturing market and away from just prototyping.”



3D printers make the grade

caxtonDespite high start up costs, more and more businesses are planning to use 3D printers for a whole variety of applications.

IDC surveyed 330 people employed by companies with 100 or more staff that are planning to deploy 3D printing.

The survey revealed that the primary uses are prototyping and product development, there are many other reasons for deploying 3D tech.

Pete Basiliere, an analyst at IDC, said that by 2018 nearly 50 percent of retail, heavy industry and life science manufacturers will employ 3D printers to make parts.


“Respondents felt overwhelmingly that using a 3D printer as part of their supply chain generally reduces the cost of existing processes, especially R&D csts,” he said.  The cost reduction for finished products is around four percent.

When choosing a 3D printer, 37 percent of those surveyed ranked quality as the main factor, while 28 percent considered price the most important.  And 37 percent of the 330 people said they had just one 3D printer and 18 percent owned 10 or more.

“3D printing vendors that take the time to articulate the value of their product in terms that align with their clients’ needs will be well positioned to capitalise on any future growth,” said Basiliere.

Postman Pat can print his own 3D cat

postman-patRoyal Mail is testing out a 3D printing service at its central London delivery office.

The move is to see if there is any interest for the “embryonic” technology, printing items including shoes, jewellery, soap dishes and phone cases.

Royal Mail is running a pilot this month that will let customers order “ready-to-print” items from 3D tech company iMakr from its New Cavendish Street delivery office. It will also be able to print customers’ own designs, which can be delivered by Royal Mail.

Customers can order items from 3D printing site MyMiniFactory.com, which sells designs for printable objects including home accessories, toys and stationery equipment.

Mike Newnham, Royal Mail COO said that 3D printing was an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalised objects.

“It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing to sit alongside Royal Mail’s e-commerce and delivery capability.”

Royal Mail claimed the market for 3D printing technology would grow 95 percent by 2017.


3D printer could build a house in a day

Contour CraftingA company called Contour Crafting that offers a method of 3D printing large structures direct from CAD packages, has won a prize in a design competition.

Contour Crafting claims it automates building whole structures and cuts down the time and cost of construction.

It said the 3D printing technology may lead to printing affordable high quality low income housing, quick construction of emergency shelters and “on demand housing” in response to disasters.

NASA, claimed the firm, is investigating its technology to build bases on the moon and on Mars.

Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis, from the University of Southern California invented the concept and claims it’s viable.

“Bringing 3D to construction is bringing a concept to a proven application.  For many years, building has been done in layers – concrete foundation blocks, brick laying, structural framing and the like,” he said.

Desktop 3D printer upgraded

Tiertime 3D printerTiertime said it has launched a new desktop 3D printer, called UP BOX.

It costs $1,900 and is aimed at both professional and educational market.

The machine will churn out larger units with a max size of 10x8x8 inches, while the print resolution is now 0.1mm and printing speed 30 percent faster than its predecessor.

Other features include automatic calibration, an air filtration system that cuts down noise and making sure no noxious fumes escape. Perhaps most important to some is  LED based “mood lighting” that tells you where you are on the printing front.

The unit comes with software, a build platform for warp free ABS printing and a one year limited guarantee and service.

The unit will be available in November, through Amazon and other shops, worldwide.

3D printing market worth $4.45 billion by 2016

taipeiThe market value for 3D printing could zoom past $4.45 billion as soon as 2016, according to Taiwan’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC).

The figure is roughly double its value in 2012 at $2.15 billion – itself 22.2 percent growth from the previous year.

MIC notes that the current picture it’s a long way since the initial rounds of investment into 3D printing in the 80s, including from companies like 3D Systems, Stratasys and Helisys. But an injection of R&D cash in recent years has been progressive for the technology and lead to an expansion in the application market.

Now, thanks to R&D progress, a wide range of materials can be printed, including metals, ceramics, resins, plastics, nylon, PVC, ABS plastic and wax.

Since these developments, 3D printing has found itself being used for the production of metal modules, personalised goods, automobile and airplane parts, medical apparatus, gadgets, consumer goods and jewelry.

MIC points out that governments are expressing their support for advances in 3D printing and other big players, including in the Asia Pacific region, have entered the scene.