HAMPSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Apr 22, 2014) - New findings from leading hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research, reveal that sales of consumer 3D printers will exceed 1 million units by 2018, rising from just over an estimated 44,000 this year.
While shipments are at relatively low levels, representing a limited opportunity in the medium term, Juniper expects them to increase significantly beyond the five-year period. This will be a result of an ever widening scope of applicability, driven by the entry and growth of the more established printing vendors, such as HP. This in turn will be coupled with a more attractive pricing proposition for consumers.
Expansion of Use Cases
The new report, Consumer 3D Printing & Scanning: Service Models, Devices & Opportunities 2014-2018, notes that it is still very early days for the consumer offering, and the technology has yet to really capture the consumer's imagination. Killer applications with the appropriate eco-system of software, apps and materials have yet to be identified and communicated.
The established printing vendors have also yet to 'show their cards', but niche and novelty applications are on the increase. For instance, companies such as Hasbro and Hersheys are working with 3D printing vendors to develop unique applications for consumer use.
Hype or Long-term Opportunity?
The report also observed that with the widespread technological awareness amongst consumers, it is now much easier to generate interest, and possibly hype, for new products and applications. This however, does not always translate into shipped products.
Report author Nitin Bhas added: "Educating and motivating the public on the idea of 3D printing to create everyday objects is critical for the long-term success of this segment. Killer applications and content will be the key drivers -- something unique and personalised, which is not available in stores already".
The whitepaper '3D Printing ~ Cutting through the Hype' is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report and Interactive Forecast Excel (IFxl). Juniper Research's highly granular IFxls enable clients to manipulate forecast charts and tables, perform what-if analysis, and compare select markets.
Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.