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Canalys: 3D Printers Gain Traction

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According to Canalys Q1 2014 3D printer shipments reach 26800 units, with 52% being enterprise purchases while the rest going consumer use in proof of increasingly competitively priced units.

3D Printer"Businesses from a range of industries have invested in the technology to experiment and test its potential, to expedite design and prototyping processes, or to enable local customised manufacturing," the analyst says. ‘While enterprise engagement will continue to grow, it looks to be the consumer space that will drive shipments in the near future."

Canalys says 67% of 3D printers shipped in Q1 2014 cost below $10000 pre-tax, and a number of basic printers come at sub-$1000 and even sub-$500 prices. Such competitive pressures will only cause prices to fall further, making the technology more affordable to businesses and consumers alike.

A number of vendors are also making 3D printing more accessible, most recently Autodesk with its open source Spark design software package.

"Within 10 years, 3D printers will be common household items in developed markets, and these developments are moving us in the right direction." Canalys predicts.

Meanwhile industrial-grade printers costing over $100000 make 1% of shipments-- and while the vendors targeting the premium segment sell a small amount of printers, the price points for such units can reach over $1 million, marking substantial revenue potential.

Go 3D Printers Gaining Significant Traction Among Consumers (Canalys)