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Gartner Says 3D Printers Will Cost Less Than $2,000 By 2016

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the get-you-one dept.

Technology 170

colinneagle writes "Widespread adoption of 3D printing technology may not be that far away, according to a Gartner report predicting that enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for less than $2,000 by 2016. 3D printers are already in use among many businesses, from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals to consumers goods, and have generated a diverse set of use cases. As a result, the capabilities of the technology have evolved to meet customer needs, and will continue to develop to target those in additional markets, Gartner says."

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170 comments

Impersonation and moderation abuse... apk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309345)

A corrupt slashdot luser has infiltrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 170++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:

---

A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 170 or so times I noted above) -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3585795&cid=43285307 [slashdot.org]

&/or

B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here

---

(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).

APK

P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March now, & 170++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

Re:Impersonation and moderation abuse... apk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309591)

PS, Just so you know guys, I am TOTALLY 3D printing a giant plastic buttplug for myself right now, using data from my HOSTS file! I'm tellin ya, that thing has SO many undocumented uses!

APK

Re:Impersonation and moderation abuse... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309843)

PS, Just so you know guys, I am TOTALLY 3D printing a giant plastic buttplug for myself right now, using data from my HOSTS file! I'm tellin ya, that thing has SO many undocumented uses!

Too bad you can't put just a 0 in it.

Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309393)

People would actually pay for reports which is just some wild-ass prediction? Wow, I know what field I should move into. My wild-ass predictions are buy one, get one free, a much better offer.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43309407)

Put your prices up. Wild-ass predictions are obviously a Veblen Good [wikipedia.org]

We're Saved! (3, Funny)

sanman2 (928866) | about a year ago | (#43309475)

Oh thank goodness! We'll now be able to print plastic dogshit cheaper than the cost of mass-producing it in China!

Then nobody will be able to take that away from us - short of prying it out of our cold dead hands.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43309485)

Gartner is actually correct, if not late to the party.
You can already find them on line for under $1000. Serious ones for under 2000 are easy to find.
Does Gartner not know about Google?

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

froggymana (1896008) | about a year ago | (#43309769)

I think the keyword you missed was "enterprise class", implying that its prints will be of higher quality. Or that it has a voice module and regular printer attached to spew our corporate bullshit and white papers.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43309903)

An "enterprise class" 3D printer is one that will be able to make 3D models from descriptions such as "synergetic, cloud-integrated proactive out-of-the-box social media mindshare ". It will be able to take corporate bullshit as valid input and turn it into accurate 3D models. Essentially it just prints a hardcoded model of a dildo every time.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310005)

Since when you have to worry about cost of "Enterprise" grade stuff?
No doubt the consumable is going to cost an arm and a leg.

For a while there, I thought it would be USS Enterprise 3D printers aka "Replicators"... :P
Oh yeah. They have out grown the need for currencies and probably no copyright laws by then.

Re: Wow (2)

Maxx169 (920414) | about a year ago | (#43309937)

Needs more xml

Re:Wow (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43309961)

The better hobby printers already desktop Stratasys models in quality. I would imagine that enterprise quality printers are a lot less fiddly in their use though. (and a cartridge will cost ten times what a roll of ABS currently costs.)

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310133)

No, it will just add an RJ45 port

That, and a 3D scanner

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

sincewhen (640526) | about a year ago | (#43309775)

Gartner don't know a fucking thing except how to sell useless and obvious information to businesses.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310061)

Wake me up when they have the 3d biological ones that can do Milla Jovovich like in the 5th Element.

Re:Wow (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43310173)

they said enterprise class.
basically, if you have to put 3d printers into two classes and one of them is enterprise then FDM(the usual home) or resin based systems wouldn't be it.

enterprise class would be objet/polyjet style machines or laser sintering machines.

neither of which will be under 2k in 3 years. unfortunately.

Re:Wow (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#43310557)

Gartner knows what Microsoft tells them to know.

Skynet and Graham Cairnes-Smith (2)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43309397)

It's interesting how much of the technology for Skynet is being built by humans as tools.

It's very reminiscent of this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Cairns-Smith [wikipedia.org]

In simplified form, this is the clay hypothesis: Clays form naturally from silicates in solution. Clay crystals, as other crystals, preserve their external formal arrangement as they grow, snap, and grow further. Clay crystal masses of a particular external form may happen to affect their environment in ways that affect their chances of further replication. For example, a 'stickier' clay crystal is more likely to silt a stream bed, creating an environment conducive to further sedimentation. It is conceivable that such effects could extend to the creation of flat areas likely to be exposed to air, dry, and turn to wind-borne dust, which could fall randomly in other streams. Thus - by simple, inorganic, physical processes - a selection environment might exist for the reproduction of clay crystals of the 'stickier' shape.

There follows a process of natural selection for clay crystals that trap certain forms of molecules to their surfaces (those that enhance their replication potential). Quite complex proto-organic molecules can be catalysed by the surface properties of silicates. The final step occurs when these complex molecules perform a 'Genetic Takeover' from their clay 'vehicle', becoming an independent locus of replication - an evolutionary moment that might be understood as the first exaptation.

Despite its frequent citation as a useful model of the kind of process that might have been involved in the prehistory of DNA, the 'clay hypothesis' of abiogenesis is not so popular, as with several other abiogenesis hypotheses. As it was current and fashionable at that time, Richard Dawkins used it as the example model of abiogenesis in his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker.

Dawkins poetically talks of a future "robot Cairns-Smith" working out that life has gone from being silicon based to carbon based and back again and each transition has vastly increased the speed at which it can develop. I.e. from the pseudo heredity of clay based 'life' to DNA protein based life and Darwinian evolution and finally to machines which understand themselves enough to far outpace pure Darwinian evolution by designing their successors.

Actually if we do get herded into camps by murderous AI this sort of idea would be a great deal of comfort to me.

Yeah... but what will that 2k get me? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43309399)

If it only gets me something with clunky 0.2mm resolution or worse... meh.

I want something that is precise enough to print detailed D&D miniatures and creatures, which means that the smallest details need to be in the neighborhood of about 20microns or so.

Re:Yeah... but what will that 2k get me? (2)

suutar (1860506) | about a year ago | (#43309467)

that's some serious detail. I'd have thought 200 microns would be good enough. though admittedly I haven't actually gotten one printed yet; it may suck after all.

Re:Yeah... but what will that 2k get me? (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year ago | (#43310063)

I regularly print at 0.1 mm layer height, and generally find that it could be better. If I had the patience for it, I'd go for 0.05 or 0.025.

Re:Yeah... but what will that 2k get me? (5, Interesting)

bmcage (785177) | about a year ago | (#43310019)

I print quality D&D miniatures with my Makerbot Replicator. That's with 0.125 mm layers. If you give it an acetone vapour bath, they are smooth too. Problem with additive layer however is not quality of these prints, it is the impossibility to print overhang, what you need for nice feet, hands sticking out, ... . So that is the problem, not the layer thickness. The stereographic prints might fix this, or two material print with one material that dissolves in water. I can't print dual head two materials on my Replicator on 0.125 layers, nor can I do it as nicely as needed on thicker prints.

Oh, and this replicator was less than 2000$.

Re:Yeah... but what will that 2k get me? (2)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year ago | (#43310661)

Where do you get the plans for those miniatures? I was thinking about doing the same thing.

Re:Yeah... but what will that 2k get me? (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | about a year ago | (#43310579)

If it only gets me something with clunky 0.2mm resolution or worse... meh.

I want something that is precise enough to print detailed D&D miniatures and creatures, which means that the smallest details need to be in the neighborhood of about 20microns or so.

Maybe this is what you are looking for?

http://www.sandboxr.com/ [sandboxr.com]

I am not associated with either sandboxr or kickstarter.

3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#43309403)

Lets be honest, we barely use our home printers. I'm glad I have it, but I bought my color laser in 2009 and have never changed the toners. I print everything to PDF. I have no desire to own a 3D printer because I see no use for it, the little models and small items I've seen people print could have been bought for a few dollars rather than buying a $2,000+ printer and the plastic it uses. If I really need a 3D model I imagine paying someone a few bucks on ebay or craiglist to print custom items. Sorry 3D printer makers, but these will always be for a very niche market, never mainstream.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43309507)

Lets be honest, we barely use our home printers.

Who is "we"? I don't have a printer at all so I use it less than you do. But I know some people who print all kinds of things. Like most other activities that are optional, there are huge variations in what people do.

So "let's be honest". You're not going to use a 3-D printer much. I probably won't either. But there probably will be a significant minority that prints out all kinds of things.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310235)

...and millions of Scientologists to be your friends.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#43310833)

Isn't that what "niche market" means?

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43309509)

And 640k should be enough for anyone.

People like you predicted no on would have a use for a computer in the home.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309625)

I predict you will suck the AIDS out of a dick.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

stms (1132653) | about a year ago | (#43309533)

I suspect you're trolling but just in case you're not. The important thing about 3D printers is not how they're currently being applied but how they could be applied. I personally have zero interest in 3D printing in it's current state. I also probably wouldn't have been interested in computers in the 80s. The thing to understand is the technology will progress to the point where you can print just about anything in a 3D printer (a car, an assault rifle, medicine or even entire buildings). At that point everything can 1. Be built for the cost of the materiel its made and 2. Can be designed in an open source fashion. This will fundamentally change the way we look at things similarly to how the internet changed the way we think about ideas.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

sanman2 (928866) | about a year ago | (#43309693)

what about an automatic sandwich-maker?

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (2)

deesine (722173) | about a year ago | (#43309835)

Those cost about half your income and the price of a diamond ring.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43310277)

Yea but you get a free dishwasher, and clothes washer too.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (4, Insightful)

W. Justice Black (11445) | about a year ago | (#43309541)

Waiting for it to be a service at e.g. my local Walgreen's (as lab-quality photo printing is today). Doesn't need to be in my house, just convenient.

Never underestimate the appeal of cheap junk (1)

voss (52565) | about a year ago | (#43309609)

When 3d printers can custom make kitsch of all sorts in minutes at a local store, it is a revolution. Then its not just junk its YOUR personal junk :)

Re:Never underestimate the appeal of cheap junk (1)

amber_of_luxor (770360) | about a year ago | (#43309721)

I've seen 3D printers in the back room of tourist traps.
Usually to print out one day only junk, to inflict upon their victims, persuading them that the junk will be very rare one day.

I've no doubt that those printers can be used on a moment's notice to include the mark's name.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43309751)

This would actually be really nice. I could see a market for this. Hey, it looks like there's a bunch of companies online that do this, and can use all sorts of materials. Neat!

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43310893)

Waiting for it to be a service at e.g. my local Walgreen's (as lab-quality photo printing is today). Doesn't need to be in my house, just convenient.

That actually might be a double-plus for them. Get rid of the cheap plastic gimmicks that they sell and put some 3-D printers there. With quick-access buttons to print out the cheap plastic gimmicks.

No need for inventory or shipping them in from China!

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about a year ago | (#43310963)

There are several services that will print and ship what you upload.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (2)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43309553)

I have a very good color printer. I don't use it very much anymore because printing has become much less useful in my life, and the cost in consumbles is a quarter a page. There was no subsidy in purchasing this printer, there was no idea that the profit would be made later in ink. I also have a cheap inkjet printer for when I need a page of two in color, and a high capacity multifunction BW laser printer for when I need many copies. This is the trend I see in printing. The initial novelty of color printing has worn off and we are now looking at cost.

I think the same will happen with 3D printers. They will reach a price point where it is affordable. People will go out and buy one, they realize how much it actually costs to operate. From what I have seen is $5 per cubic inch.

Then of course is the software. Desktop publishing realy took off when one no longer needed a $2000 mac and $500 dedicated software. Right now a $1000 computer is good enough to do design work, but the software still costs. And people are simply not used to paying $500 like we were 15 or 20 years ago. Now personal software is $100 or less, for the most part.

But I think in a couple years this might be solved, and 3D printers will be mainstream for a while. At least many offices will have them, as well as schools. But for home use they will be no more popular than color laser printers.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | about a year ago | (#43309571)

the little models and small items I've seen people print could have been bought for a few dollars

http://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Space-Marine-Terminator-Warhammer/dp/B000VT45O2 [amazon.com]

Just picked an example at random. Just a few dollars?

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309601)

1. It's Warhammer. That was not random.
2. Injection molding has an extra orders of magnitude finer detail than even the best 3D printers.
3. It's Warhammer.

What is next, you point to an iPhone when someone says you can buy a cheap flip phone for 20 bucks?

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309599)

I'm not so sure about the niche market. 3D printers, even the relatively cheap open source ones that are limited to plastics, have very practical applications. For the price of a single snap-tight container from Family Dollar you can buy enough feed material to print enough for your entire family. Could print all the plastic utensils you need for social events (like holiday get togethers) as well as cups and plates, if your an over achiever you could even print one for each person with their name printed in raised lettering.

Stop being so borishly close minded and imagine what you could do with a device that can print almost any design you throw at it, granted some things may require assembling a set of printed parts. I would love to have a 3d printer, especially having seen the things used for the mundane and exotic.

However I'm sure all the companies out there manufacturing way overpriced plastic crap will open a holy war should the technology ever become as readily available as an inkjet printer.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

amber_of_luxor (770360) | about a year ago | (#43309799)

Wait five to ten years, and most of the things Family Dollar currently sells for under ten bucks, will only be available as 3D Patterns, for ten bucks, with unlimited printings.

If management of Sears Holdings Corporation were smart, they would:
* Make K-Mart an offline brand. No online/non-traditional retailing allowed;
* Rebrand all Sears Full Line stores to Big K-Mart;
* Use the Sears name only for Catalog, Internet, TV Shopping, and Telemarketing;
* Land's End would be a pattern company. Clothes, Home Decorating, and other patterns;
* KMart Stores would downsize in area, and only offer 2D and 3D patterns. The only physical objects would be the media that the pattern is in/on;
* KMart SuperCenter and Sears Grande would be merged into one chain, competing as a HyperMart, and include preprinted objects of the 3D and 2D patterns sold at K-Mart;

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43310761)

So throw away the entire appliance market, glassware market, automotive technology market, video games market etc media market, fine clothing market--Lands' End isn't just style, but actually well-made clothes unlike the garbage from Wal-Mart that falls apart first washing--and change their entire business model to "Plastic Shit for Rednecks"? Because K-Mart says "fat slob shop here" and Sears kind of says "stuck-up, haughty salesmen who think they're better than you trying to sell you rich-boy shit."

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#43310539)

Perhaps you should look at the quality and finish that most 3D plastic nozzle based printers achieve. It's awful. I also expect a lot of people would have a thing about eating off plastic plates especially ones where the uneven surface pattern ensures the accumulation of food particles and the cutlery and washing puts ugly scratches all over it in no time.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#43309629)

It's always interesting to read the views of a Luddite that has no vision. Seeing a tech for what it currently is and thinking that's all it will ever be. Sure right now it's small plastic junk, but in the future it will be metal objects then full electronics and/or anything and everything. Scaled up and down you could print medicines or sky scrapers. Hell people like you might be able to print a life. Sorry that was just mean.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309795)

Very true. Many people have no vision, except for what is right before them. Sadly, I know a few people who are like this. Maybe, their creativity was repressed as a child and never resumed.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (5, Interesting)

anethema (99553) | about a year ago | (#43309887)

So your point is..because paper documents have gone out of fashion...all physical objects are also useless? Or do you think paper printers aren't cheap and ubiquitous ? I built a 3D printer, and I don't print toys/models.

I broke a wheel on my dishwasher? I just drew one up and printed it, good as new. I broke a handle on my fileting knife..I printed one nicer than the original which has a fish gut scooper on the handle. I've printed brackets for my truck, pieces for the printer itself, and if I got really enterprising, I could use the printed plastic to make a lost-plastic casting and cast myself metal versions of anything I wanted. (See here: http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/ [3dtopo.com] )

My printer was under a thousand start to finish but that was self built so a lot more work than something you just unbox. (Mendelmax 2.0 from makerstoolworks.com if anyone cares(no affil))

Anyways, does it make pure financial sense? Maybe, maybe not. Does the ability to make any physical object that fits within my printers dimensions within a few minutes or hours make it worth it for me? Definitely. Some things take weeks when you need them now, sometimes you need to try 10 versions of something before it would make sense to pay for a final high quality one to be made. Sometimes its an object not important enough to spend the time and money on if you need to send away for it, but it would be neat to have. There are a million reasons I think 3D printers can work for the average Joe and see regular use.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43310795)

Why not teach the 3D printer to extrude wax????

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (2)

macshit (157376) | about a year ago | (#43309891)

Lets be honest, we barely use our home printers. I'm glad I have it, but I bought my color laser in 2009 and have never changed the toners.

Sure, but I think for many people, printers fall into the "not often needed but occasionally really nice" category.

This would explain why the printer market has developed the way it has, with super incredibly cheap printers that quickly get expensive if you use them a lot.

For some people, a better method of achieving this is easily availabled shared printers (e.g. there are still plenty of internet/manga cafes around here with printers, and the convenience stores all have copiers that can do printing or scanning from/to USB devices and SD cards), but especially in the sparsely populated U.S., I guess mega cheap personal printers that fall over after 10 pages are more popular...

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309993)

... but these will always be for a very niche market ...

Remember these words:
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- T Watson, IBM, 1943

Everyone has data needs, which spawned the small business (IBM) computer. That plus games made the home computer. Once that technology become a household good, the internet privatized and global communications took off. With the smart phone and e-tablet, that data became portable.

Similarly everyone has plastic kitchenware, toys, nick-nacks, etc. And plastic can't be wired/riveted together like metal/wood can, so when it breaks, one needs to buy a whole replacement. This is a problem when a discrete part like a gear wheel or control knob is the only part broken.

I hope that 3D printers create a new class of tinker: I take my broken gearwheel to him. He does a 3D scan or downloads the specifications and then prints a new part. Repair mechanics don't need to carry inventory of spares. Plus, spare parts aren't declared 'obsolete' once the model is 2 years old.

... we barely use our home printer ...

True. Because I don't have to carry a stack of paper to access my digital data. See above.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year ago | (#43310121)

I hope that 3D printers create a new class of tinker: I take my broken gearwheel to him. He does a 3D scan or downloads the specifications and then prints a new part. Repair mechanics don't need to carry inventory of spares. Plus, spare parts aren't declared 'obsolete' once the model is 2 years old.

But i think your saying that not everyone will have them. Only some will.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310001)

What about at $200? Is that low enough.

http://www.makibox.com/details/product/A6-LT [makibox.com]

There are numerous companies putting out printers in the $200-$500 range. Gartner is way behind the curve, as usual.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (5, Interesting)

bmcage (785177) | about a year ago | (#43310043)

Lets be honest, we barely use our home printers. I'm glad I have it, but I bought my color laser in 2009 and have never changed the toners. I print everything to PDF. I have no desire to own a 3D printer because I see no use for it, the little models and small items I've seen people print could have been bought for a few dollars rather than buying a $2,000+ printer and the plastic it uses. If I really need a 3D model I imagine paying someone a few bucks on ebay or craiglist to print custom items. Sorry 3D printer makers, but these will always be for a very niche market, never mainstream.

Turn in your nerd card! You can only print stuff ordered that others designed. If you design yourself, you need to prototype. This is no different from making software versus using software. Everybody who makes software needs a device to work on, instead of only consume, everybody who makes objects needs a printer to try it on, instead of a service that delivers prints at home.

What you claim is hence: "I don't make or design stuff, so I don't need a 3D printer." Yes, but there are many people out there that do make things, probably more than there are software coders. 3D design is also easier than programming, so schools will quicker pick this up than adding coding to the curriculum.

This is indeed not mainstream, but most houses have kids at a certain time, so a 3D printer will be handy, and if people are fed up waiting for a package or the 3D services are not that good, buying one will be an option. In the end, it will come down to ease of use of the printer. I'm able to service my 3D printer, 95% of the population would not manage with the printers in use today. My first order to shapeways took 2 weeks before they notified it could not be printed, and refunded me. Second order took 1.5 weeks to arrive.

Re:3D printers will not be popular at any price (1)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | about a year ago | (#43310541)

Sorry 3D printer makers, but these will always be for a very niche market, never mainstream.

I imagine much the same was said back when Wozniak was working on the Apple I and Apple II computers

Sure, while it's still a fernickerty process requiring some skill it'll be niche. When it's developed to be quicker, reliable and more accessible then I think we'll see them becoming more mainstream.

OK, (2)

no-body (127863) | about a year ago | (#43309405)

How about the ink? Probably the same game as with current printer ink cartridges - ongoing profit maker...ripoff

Questionable if it's fair right now and in future???

Re:OK, (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43309477)

Well, let's hope they start producing laser 3D printers soon. They'll be much more economical to operate. I'll be real impressed when we can print with a MIG welder, and build real metal pieces.

Re:OK, (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about a year ago | (#43310171)

The real advance will be ultrasonic welding of metallic-glass beads.

I'm serious :)

Re:OK, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309739)

It's why I don't have a printer at all. I refuse to pay the extortion ink prices. Doesn't make any sense to own one, unless you're printing a lot of material regularly (which isn't really necessary any longer).

Re:OK, (1)

bmcage (785177) | about a year ago | (#43310055)

How about the ink? Probably the same game as with current printer ink cartridges - ongoing profit maker...ripoff Questionable if it's fair right now and in future???

That's the great thing, make your own, or buy a device that makes it: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/833191773/filastruder-a-robust-inexpensive-filament-extruder [kickstarter.com]

Re:OK, (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year ago | (#43310067)

FDM printers can already be had for less than $1000, and I built my own Mendel90 for about 500 euros. The PLA I use cost 32 euros per 2.3 kg, although it's a pretty cheap type. Been using it for a while now, still haven't run out. And even if I did find myself lacking material, I could chuck all my failed prints into a filabot or something and recycle it.

Re:OK, (1)

trout007 (975317) | about a year ago | (#43310783)

I use an Objet which is like an inkjet printer but uses UV cured epoxy. A 3 kg cartridge is about $1500. Plus you need support material so maybe double that cost.

Plastic stuff? (1, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43309457)

I can't imagine needing a lot of poor quality plastic bits for anything. If I need any now, it's much cheaper and easier to buy them from China.

Re:Plastic stuff? (2)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about a year ago | (#43309807)

Things I have printed on my Prusa...wall mountable backplates for my 6 monitors, table stand for my Nexus 7, clips for freezer bags, a bobble-head version of me (we scanned our faces in grad school). If I could print an imagination for you at some point, I'd be happy to snail-mail it over.

Re:Plastic stuff? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43310293)

So... All stuff that would have been cheaper to just buy from China. Like he said.

I could download, print and bind a book today. It would be cheaper to just buy the damn thing in most cases and I'd end up with a better product.

Re:Plastic stuff? (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43310785)

Not really. Traditional methods are cheaper if you need 1000 of something. If you need one or ten of something then 3D printing starts to make sense.
As for the quality of the prints, I remember owning and using a 6 pin dot matrix printer back in the 1980s. That one would never replace real prints. A decade later small laser printers could produce prints that rivaled traditional print jobs.

Re:Plastic stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310301)

Keep the printer, but can you snail-mail me 6 monitors? And the Nexus 7? Thanks.

Re:Plastic stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310613)

I know. Because my current color laser printer is about as good as my 30 year old Commodore MPS-803. And my Motorola StarTac had all the bells and whistles of my current smartphone.
 
For a bunch of self-appointed know-it-alls you guys really have no vision for the future even as it has unfolded right before your eyes within your own lifetime.
 
But yeah, 3d printers will never print anything but "plastic bits." At least for the know-nothing (and proud of it!) crowd.

Gartner should Google they're less than $800 NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309501)

$2000 by 2016? Are you joking? They're only a few hundred quid now!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/04/ten_3d_printers/

Surely a typo? If I can buy a plastic gun for $3, and motors for $10, then sub- $50 is more realistic for 2016. Perhaps if it needs processing power too, add $100 for a Ouya class android device to drive it.

Companies like Gartner ... (2)

jabberwock (10206) | about a year ago | (#43309519)

... make forecasts of technological advancements, market adoption rates, production scale and resultant pricing all the time. Quite often, they come up with them pretty much the same way you would: By asking around.

McKinsey, same product, often the same methodology.

And it is *astonishing* how many of those reports you cannot find on the Internet later, when you want to make fun of them.

2016? (5, Informative)

speedplane (552872) | about a year ago | (#43309569)

There are a ton of 3D printers on the market right now for less thank $2k, many for less than $1k. They are fully assembled machines too, not just a DIY hobby toys. I don't really understand how this article is news.

Re:2016? (1)

biggerboy (512438) | about a year ago | (#43309655)

Right. Just go here:

http://www.inventables.com/ [inventables.com]

Re:2016? (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year ago | (#43310047)

I want a CNC home put together kit now..

Re:2016? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310535)

I have two. Less than $2k using ebay parts. 0.03mm resolution plus I can make useful things with it.

Re:2016? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309753)

I would say this article is just bait for people to point this out, to drive people to those very companies you mention.

Re:2016? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309915)

Read the summary. It says "enterprise-class 3D printers".

Re:2016? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43310307)

Gartner exists to tell companies what they want to hear. You say to them "we make 3D printers but they cost about $10k, maybe in a few years they will be down to $2k and everyone will buy one". They do a nice press release saying they have "studied" the situation and concluded that in a few years 3D printers will be available for under $2k and everyone will buy one.

In other words they try to modify the world to suit your companies desires and timescales by issuing bullshit studies and articles to major sources of news, hoping to fool casual readers and clueless investors.

Why Does Anyone Give A Shit About Gartner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309585)

It's not even worth asking again.

You can already buy them for sub-$2000 (2)

Skythe (921438) | about a year ago | (#43309595)

It may not be exactly what Gartner envisioned, but there's the RepRap project which aims to be able to fully self replicate. At least check it could print 50% of it's own parts, and they are working on being able to print electric circuitry next - http://www.reprapcentral.com/vmchk.html [reprapcentral.com]

I could do with some sub $2k laser sintering (2)

John.Banister (1291556) | about a year ago | (#43309647)

Or sub $20k, for that matter, but I don't think I'll see it by 2016.

Waiting for the day.. (1)

ottawanker (597020) | about a year ago | (#43309657)

I'm waiting for 3d printers that can print metal.

Re:Waiting for the day.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309787)

Shapeways, and a few services in Europe print metal parts.

Re:Waiting for the day.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310787)

They do sintered metals. Easier is to email your model to your local jeweler and get him to cast it; Matt Powell in Omaha will take the file, print it in wax and do lost wax casting. $10/hr for the printer and $25 for the casting.

Large Security Events Mirror (quality files!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43309713)

Well, so much for 3D printing then (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year ago | (#43309817)

If Gartner predicts it will be a success, it won't. They never ever been right on anything. You would think that even a broken clock is right twice a day but Gartners clock isn't.

And for all the 3D printing fans, right now there is a cheap home production system out there. It is called the sewing machine. It used to be common in every house because producing your own clothes was cheaper and you could make what you needed, when you needed it. Brilliant! There was an entire eco-system around it with fabric stores and even stores that sold nothing but buttons.

Do you own a sewing machine? No? Why not? Because it takes to much skill? Because it is cheaper to buy crappy fall apart stuff made in sweatshops around the world and marked up 1000%?

Well then what makes you think 3D printing will take off as a home production system? Yes yes, you can print your own gun... GUN. SINGLE. So you going to buy a 2000 dollar printer to print a 100 dollar gun... And if you really want to make your own gun, there are already plenty of metal working tools out there that can do it for you. You can already buy all the tools to build a gun. Even in countries with strict gun laws.

3D printing is an amazing invention and will completely change how things are prototyped or how unique items are created. BUT it is the sewing machine, hand sewing machines are STILL used by those prototyping clothing AND artists that want to make something unique. The rest of us buy our crap of the rack.

Same as I don't have a vegetable patch, don't grow my own herbs in a window box, don't make my own soap, don't gather my own firewood, don't cut my own bread, don't generate my own electricity, don't make own compost for plants, fix my own car, paint my apartment.

Hell, how many here even build their own PC anymore? And if you go "oh but that is way to complex and time consuming"

EX-FUCKING-ACTLY

I actually have used 3d printing services to create some cases for Arduino projects. I used a hobby club where a member helped me (well, did all the work for me really) and created some cases from scratch. Very nice, very useful but really, no different from me going to a tailor and asking for a suit to be made (which is not as expensive as people think it is). I don't have a sewing machine and I don't see a future of me owning a 3D printing machine. Why would I? I can pay someone to do it or me, and they can then afford a much better one then I can afford and we are all happy and laughing at Gartners made up statistics.

Re:Well, so much for 3D printing then (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | about a year ago | (#43310079)

I would mod you up if I could. Why I do some things, Gardening, I do that because I enjoy it, not because I'm saving money. Although people think that. I could see getting a CNC machine (now that I saw it pointed out in here it was cheap) not because I think I will save money, but I love working with wood. I'm making a planter box, and yes that is saving me money. 130-200 for the size I'm making with materials for 40. But, I wouldn't expect people to know how to think it up. My fiance I don't think understands how I"m doing it even after drawing 2d from all sides, as well as a 3d sketch up. This is great for hobbies though. Anyway, I do think you have a point. Only hobbyist who like that thing, or small businesses will have one.

Re:Well, so much for 3D printing then (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43310463)

One of the reasons I got a Shapeoko ( http://www.shapeoko.com/ [shapeoko.com] ) was so that I would be able to make my own brass hardware for woodworking projects and wouldn't be limited to what I could buy commercially (my last project involved: U.S. made hinges, sand-cast handle from England, forged brass stay chain from Italy, latches from Taiwan and corner protectors from China).

Re:Well, so much for 3D printing then (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about a year ago | (#43310189)

Similarly, I have a Reprap printer. It takes work and knowledge to get it to work and keep working, needing attention like a spoiled little baby, but it's fun to mess around with. I also built my computer from parts, about 4 or 5 years ago. It still serves every purpose I use it for. It also has its share of weirdness sometimes, but I can deal with it.

To those with the patience for it, DIY can be a beautiful kind of project to work on. To those without, surely there's someone nearby who has the right skills and the right price.

Re:Well, so much for 3D printing then (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43310447)

However, it's worth noting that when the sewing machine was invented, it was noted that there would be one in every home, and for a long while, there pretty much was.

There was still a tailor in town when I moved here, and I've always regretted not going to have some shirts tailor made there (he's since retired after 50 years in business) --- fortunately, a quick Google search shows a couple still in business.

It'll be interesting to see what the life cycle of 3D printing is.

Re:Well, so much for 3D printing then (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43310825)

You don't own a sewing machine? How do you get your pants to fit?

And by 2020 you can buy cars for less than 100k (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43310027)

Dear customers of Gartner: Please send me what you paid Gartner, my prediction is as valuable as Gartner's.

Waiting to see commercial uptake (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year ago | (#43310321)

The problem is, the run-time on these is so long, it's only justifiable for one-offs or prototypes.

Using a CNC machine to make molds for injection makes more sense now: http://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/gcnc/ [coredump.cx]

But I'm still surprised not to see 3d printers:

  - in automotive service departments to print trim pieces in the right colour
  - paired w/ a 3d scanner in a hardware store --- customer brings in broken thing-a-ma-bob, it gets scanned, one is then directed to the right aisle for a replacement, or a quote to print a replacement is generated

Gartner?! (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#43310423)

Holy shit, those coke-snorting peons at Gartner still have a pulse? (I remember trying to explain the importance of - and future prospects for - 3D accelerators... to some of their analysts back in '95 or '96... they didn't get it and damn were they sure I didn't!) ROFL...

SSD Drive (1)

aurizon (122550) | about a year ago | (#43310675)

I am going to wait before I buy one of these 3D printers. Once they can print 256Gig SSD drives, they will be worth buying...

Patents patents patents... (1)

Destoo (530123) | about a year ago | (#43310987)

The difference between consumer-class and enterprise-class 3D printers are minor. Controlled temperature environment is one of them.

As soon as one of the small fish is advertising features of the so called enterprise-class 3D printers, they are sued into oblivion by Stratasys and others using their patents.

Re:Patents patents patents... (1)

Destoo (530123) | about a year ago | (#43310991)

And I'm very happy with my Up! PP3DP printer!

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