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  1. #1

    3D Printer Business Models

    So there is clearly fierce competition emerging among the dozens of 3D printer manufacturers out there. In order to compete, many of these companies will need to continue to innovate, as well as develop a business strategy which may be a bit outside the box. In the following article: http://3dprint.com/558/3d-printing-business/ I discuss the various possible business models many of these companies may eventually adopt in order to keep customers interested in their products.

    Let me know what you think? Will these models play out in the short run? Why or why not?

  2. #2
    I had a read of the article and there are some interesting points stated. One thing that I don't think will work is 3dprinters being sold at mega cheap prices and then companies trying to recoup the cost through patented filaments or 'chipped cartridges'. What's the point in buying a 3dprinter is the materials to run it are too expensive or you are tied into one manufacturers materials. I read an article a while back that described an interesting concept, that was you pay a monthly rental fee for a 3dprinter and take out a two year contract (like current iphone contracts). Then at the end of the 2 years you can trade in your printer for a newer current up to date model. So instead of purchasing the printer outright at the start you might only put $50 - $100 down and then your monthly payment would be another $50 - 100, at the end you either own it or trade in and have a guaranteed price on trade in.

  3. #3
    Student Mike's Avatar
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    Good article, Brian. I enjoyed it.

  4. #4
    Student
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    Until there is a CHEAP good scanner available having a cheap printer is almost useless for the masses. Not everyone wants or can sit down with a 3d design program and get what they want. And most 'stuff' on thingistuff is just about as useless. What mere mortals NEED is the Earl Grey Tea replicator. They need to put a coffee cup in their scanner and say I need another one of these and the printer should be able to produce it. When that day happens we will have reached the masses, in the mean time its back to my design program so I can get this last project printed before I go to bed tonight. Russ

  5. #5
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    I haven't read the article yet, but since I work for a multi billion dollar company that is getting their feet wet in the 3d business I think I will find it interesting. One thing we struggle with is how far should we go with this... What services can we provide our customers and what will they be expecting? Putting this out there to the masses would take a huge operation and commitment. It is such a slow process right now how do you achieve the quantities needed to make it worthwhile?

    On a personal level I have thought a little about doing a side thing with 3d print. I have my own creator X and do some small products for myself that I designed. If I were to scale up I personally would rather have 20 $1000 printers, instead of 1 $20,000 printer. Sure that $20,000 printer might be a little faster, but as long as I can get acceptable quality out of the $1000 printer then I would be going that way for sure.

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