released this week by US-based technology information firm Gartner has
suggested mainstream adoption of 3D printing by consumers is five to 10 years
Gartner’s Hype Cycle for 3D Printing, 2014 report identified two major themes,
according to a release from the firm.
Enterprise 3D printing (for production) was
separate from personal use, and driven by different sets of applications.
The second was that “3D printing” as a
description could be misleading, as the broad term covered seven different
Gartner concluded that widespread consumer use
was still up to a decade away.
“Today, approximately 40 manufacturers
sell the 3D printers most commonly used in businesses, and over 200 startups
worldwide are developing and selling consumer-oriented 3D printers, priced from
just a few hundred dollars,” said Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner.
“However, even this price is too high for
mainstream consumers at this time, despite broad awareness of the technology
and considerable media interest.”
report notes that the short-term focus would be around business and medical
applications, with particular excitement around medical uses such as prostheses.
to the annual Wohlers Report for this year, the global market for 3D printing
was worth $US 3.07 billion last year, an increase of increased 34.9 per cent in 2013.