3D Printing Trends, History

Survey says: 3D printing will develop with consumers in a peer to peer manner.

Statistical Studies of Peer Production have released the finding from their 2013 3D printing survey. According to the group, which analyzes and documents peer to peer practices, a number of new developments have taken place since the survey’s first edition was released a year ago. Among these developments are:

1.       increase in the number of different models of 3D printers

2.       increase in the number of different 3D printing services

3.       growing economical interests: 3D Printer manufacturing market polarization, new manufacturer startups and Kickstarter-driven 3D printers

4.       possible signs of maturing ecosystem and that 3D printing might be on the verge of spreading outside geek communities despite challenges in hardware and software.

According to Peer Productions, their longitudinal survey approaches 3D printing as an example of the open-source inspired landscape of peer production. The aim of the survey is to gain a view into the development of the demographics of the 3D printing community, and the changing patterns of production, keeping in mind the expectations that 3D printing is a part of an emerging “revolution in manufacturing”.

One finding stood out to me. Makerbot and RepRap printers have been the systems most used by those surveyed. That leads me to believe that companies like Stratasys and 3D Systems might be looking to expand into the consumer market more rapidly than previously expected.

But that wasn’t the only finding of the study. Here are a few other interesting tidbits:

Images Courtesy of Peer Productions