Schoffer’s Predictions: 3D Printing in 2015

3d printing 2015
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3D Hubs offers a network of home or semipro printers to everyone (Image: 3D Hubs)
3D Hubs offers a network of home or semipro printers to everyone (Image: 3D Hubs)

Who is Filemon Schoffer, you might ask… well, he’s Head of Community at 3d Hubs. And 3d Hubs? That’s the biggest local 3D printing network for people who don’t want to buy a 3D printer for themself. You upload a design to their website and choose a print location. The design then gets printed by someone in the network (currently are 10.023 3D printer available). After some time, you can it pick up. More than 50,000 products made through 3D Hubs’ distributed manufacturing network and over 150,000 digital 3D models were uploaded.

We asked Filemon Schoffer what will happen this year in 3D printing. These are his predictions:

  1. Prices for 3D printers continue to drop. Rate of adoption continues to increase. Trivial I would say. I expect the scanner market to technically mature quite soon (as in, working as it should).
  2. Resin will continue to develop and we will see the first desktop SLS printers hitting the market. Although I’m not sure about the speed of development / quality here, I think it’s safe to say that the gap between desktop 3D printing and professional 3D printing will continue to decrease. This will mean that the competitive position of maker communities (individuals) will continue to improve in relation to established businesses, fragmenting the market into smaller pieces still.
  3. Next, or partly because of this, I expect a lot more adoption of consumer brands in using 3D printing as a viable alternative to their small / medium series of production.
  4. On top of this, a lot more high quality content will become available (maybe through those consumer brands), especially for users outside the Maker scene. To me this will be one of the most important developments, as the result will be a substantial amount of money flowing into 3D printing accelerating developments even further. 
  5. We will start seeing serious C2B models popping up this year. As far as I know this is unique to the 3D printing, where individuals offer  professional services to businesses on a large scale.
  6. I personally do not expect a real breakthrough for filament recyclers this year yet. Obviously a growing trend in usage can be expected but larger scale adoption I don’t see happening this year just yet.

If you want to read more on this topic, you should check out tech-journalist Rachel Park’s predictions

Brook Drumm from Printrbot also answered our call. 

And All3DPs CEO Mathias Plica shares his ideas on 3D printing markets here.