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Drumm’s Predictions: 3D Printing in 2015

3d printing 2015
Aimed at education facilties, Printrbot offers low cost, high quality 3D printer (Image: Printrbot)
Aimed at education facilties, Printrbot offers low cost, high quality 3D printer (Image: Printrbot)

On we go with the predictions for 3D printing in 2015. This time, we’ve asked Brook Drumm, Owner and founder of Printrbot. His company was founded in 2011 to provide affordable 3D printers to consumers around the world. The 349-Dollar-“Printrbot Simple” was named “Best Value” by MAKE magazine in its Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014. With the recent launch of the All Metal Simple, the company is furthering its reach into the broader entry-level 3DP consumer segment by providing a quality and ease of use experience comparable with other 3D printers costing hundreds of dollars more. The company is located in Lincoln, CA.

Brook Drumm thinks, “3d printing will establish its value as a here-to-stay tool in our tool chests” – so here’s his take on 2015:

  1. Attrition among smaller manufacturers after lower prices and a few brands build brand recognition.
  2. Some manufacturers will move to specific niches and stand their ground.
  3. Filament prices will drop a bit and stabilize. It will be harder to distinguish “high end” brands from value brands and people will buy value brands.
  4. Larger, faster FDM printers will become more affordable for hackerspaces, schools, artists and businesses. New applications using larger printers will make a splash in the media. Typical home users won’t be able to afford them.
  5. More ecosystems will emerge and battle it out for adoption. Ease of use may end up being the killer app, not selling models or services.
  6. More apps to control and monitor from mobile devices will cut into desktop apps.
  7. Late in the year, wifi and connection to the cloud will be expected and necessary for all printers. Onboard electronics will usurp stand alone add on boxes/services.
  8. Octoprint will likely be the winner with better mobile UI.
  9. Big box stores will finally offer low cost printers in all stores.
  10. Resin should have a good year but lag behind FDM for schools and individuals.
  11. Open APIs from major repositories will allow apps to access models, vying for dominance through more access points and mobile.
  12. Printed electronics will become real and demo all sorts of strange, fun, but somewhat narrow applications.
  13. Recyclers / filament extruders will become common at hackerspaces. Recycling plastic will actually be a thing and bring mildly successful business models.

If you want to read more on this topic, you should check out tech-journalist Rachel Park’s predictions. Also, All3DPs CEO Mathias Plica shares his ideas on 3D printing markets here.