HP’s 3D printing move creates market buzz

Undoubtedly the biggest news in the 3D printing space has been HP’s announcement that it will enter this growing market, which has created a "huge buzz".

Canalys estimates that some 33,000 3D printers were shipped worldwide in the third quarter of 2014, representing quarter-on-quarter growth of 4%.

According to the analyst firm, revenue from printers, materials and services grew 9% on the back of strengthening global demand.

In terms of printer shipments, the consumer sector experienced large sequential growth for yet another quarter, up 16% worldwide.

“These results are extremely encouraging for the future of the 3D printing industry,” says Joe Kempton, Research Analyst, Canalys.

“Most of the major 3D printing companies had positive growth rates and will be looking to reinvest their profits to fuel further growth.”

The consumer market is growing fastest, as 3D printer prices have continued to fall and the technology has rapidly improved.

As a result, Canalys estimates that 73% of 3D printers shipped in Q3 2014 were priced, pre-tax, at under US$10,000.

“The rise in cheaper, consumer-oriented products is further proof that the consumer side of the industry has serious potential, and we expect similar growth rates in the future,” Kempton adds.

“Shipments of Stratasys’ consumer-oriented MakerBot printers have increased dramatically on the same period a year ago.”

Subsequently, Kempton believes this has had a “huge impact” on the market, with Stratasys starting to establish itself as the leading consumer 3D printer vendor.

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