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Printing and Peripherals

Ingram Micro Opens Euro 3D Printing Division

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Ingram Micro Opens Euro 3D Printing Division

Ingram Micro commits itself to the 3D printing market as it opens a European 3D printing and scanning division and plans to provide resellers with support and training via new European center of competence.

Leading the division is Rudolf Ehrmanntraut, senior manager of 3D printing and scanning for Europe.

"We have seen a frenzy of activity in the 3D printing and scanning space in Europe, with our resellers making it clear that they are looking to enter or expand in this fast-growing market," Ehrmanntraut says. "We are pleased we are able to provide resellers with the needed support to get them fully operational in offering 3D printing and scanning products and support services-- going much further than just providing hardware."

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Canalys: "Substantial" Growth for 3D Printers

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Canalys:

Global 3D printer shipments reach "nearly" 133000 units in 2014, Canalys reports-- a "substantial" 68% increase over 2013, with revenues from both printers and associated materials and services growing by 34% to $3.3 billion.

$1bn of such revenues were made in Q4 2014 alone, a quarterly first according to Canalys, while global shipments during the quarter reached 41000 with 24% Q-o-Q growth.

EMEA comes second in terms of market share, as it accounts for 31% 2014 share. On top are the Americas with 42% share, while APAC accounts for 27%.

"We’ve seen the 3D printing industry go from strength to strength in 2014," the analyst says. "As we expected, the holiday season saw the most significant growth, particularly in the consumer segment, with many users buying their first 3D printer. A combination of falling prices, a wider range of technologies on offer and improved printing speeds helped fuel this demand."

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3D Printing, Terminator 2-Style

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3D Printing, Terminator 2-Style

Remember the T-1000 from Terminator 2, the villainous robot able to form itself from liquid metal? Mystery startup Carbon3D emerges from stealth mode to reveal a 3D printing technology inspired by that same sequence.

The technology, dubbed Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), is stunning to simply to look at-- an arm extracts objects, seemingly fully formed, straight out of a puddle of colourful goo. How does it do it? While regular 3D printers build objects layer-by-layer, CLIP uses light and oxygen to "cure" a photosensitive liquid resin, thus creating objects in a "true" 3D manner.

Essentially, light cures the resin while oxygen keeps it from going solid. A transparent and permeable window controls the exact amount light and oxygen the resin comes in contact with, creating "dead zones" through which printer produces cross sectional images of the object in question.

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IDC: Q4 2014 W. European Printer Shipments Down

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IDC: Q4 2014 W. European Printer Shipments Down

IDC reports the Q4 2014 W. European printer and multifunction (MFP) market shows "slight" shipment declines of 0.8% Y-o-Y, as units reach 6.84 million units due to drops in consumer inkjet shipments.

However the analyst also says revenues are up during the quarter, thanks to growing high speed laser MFP and business inkjet shipments. The same goes for overall 2014, as IDC says the MFP market is recovering with shipments growing by 2.9% as more major segments continue to shift from single-function to multi-function printers.

MFP products account for 82.4% of both Q4 and overall 2014 shipments, with the overall MFP growing by a minimal 0.6% as printers decline by -6.5%. Laser MFPs show most at 8.3% (with 17.3% for colour devices and 1.6% for mono), while the overall A4 laser printer declines by almost -1%, proof of the threat from business inkjets according to the analyst.

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Gartner: 3D Printer Market "At Inflection Point"

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Gartner: 3D Printer Market

According to Gartner the 3D printer market is "is at an inflection point", as global shipments are forecast to reach 217350 units in 2015, up from 108151 in 2014, before growing to over 2.3 million by 2018.

"Unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers, which languished in the low single and double digits per year throughout the 30 years since the first 3D printers were invented, are poised to increase dramatically beginning in 2015," the analyst says. "As radical as the forecast numbers may seem, bear in mind that even the 2.3 million shipments that we forecast will be sold in 2018 are a small fraction of the total potential market of consumers, businesses and government organisations worldwide."

Leading the market through 2018 in 3D printing technologies is material extrusion, since it is the technology behind consumer (sub-$1000) 3D printer segment. Driving consumer 3D printer adoption is lower prices, improved performance and expanded global availability.

On the enterprise side, 3D printing viability for prototypes and manufacturing, together with lower costs, improved quality and a wider material range are main market drivers.

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