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A year in the 3D Printing Industry

Last April we featured an article about M3D’s kickstarter campaign for it’s Micro 3D Printer. We reported on the fever pitch that was reached when, unbelievably, in just 11 minutes $50,000 was raised. So where is the 3D printing industry a year on?

The final total pledged by the 11,855 backers for the 3D printer was an incredible $3,401,361. Well, the Micro is ready to launch on the public market next month. Currently you can pre order the machine for a special price of $349 (That’s less than £250!).

Budget desktop units remain in high demand. If you search for 3D printers on the Kickstarter website you will be overwhelmed with the number of projects hoping to get funded.Tiko 3D Printer

The most exciting one to date appears to be the Tiko 3D which almost reached the dizzy heights of the Micro 3D’s campaign by reaching it’s $100,000 target in just 3 hours! Pledges currently stand in the region of just over the $2 million mark with the campaign still to run until 30th April 2015. We wonder if it will reach the magic $3 million that the Micro printer did a year ago?

Tiko 3D is a simple 3D machine designed as such, with the purpose being to take away as many margins of error as possible.  The designers have used a triangular one part model for the frame which supports a delta style movement for the print head. At only $179 it is no wonder it has become the latest crowdfunding megastar.

According to an article in 3ders.org, research firm Canalys, “estimates that nearly 133,000 3D printers were shipped worldwide in 2014, a substantial increase of 68% from 2013.” This figure looks set to rise yet again through 2015.

Jumping on the predictions for 2015, at the end of 2014, Autodesk set up the Spark Investment Fund. Its aim was to invest up to $100 million in the development of the 3D printing industry. Tiko 3D is one of their latest protégés receiving support and advice, along with $25,000 of investment to support their growth.

It’s clear to see that budget desktop 3D printers are continuing to catch the imagination of the general consumer but how about other areas of the 3D printing revolution?

Those of you who have seen articles about the revolutionary new CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technology by Carbon3D, will know this is yet another giant leap for 3D Printing.

The Spark Fund think so too, and have announced that they will be giving $10 million to Carbon 3D to help further growth of the CLIP technology.

And so 3D printing continues to develop at a staggering pace and appears to be in no rush to slow down. In fact, market research by Canalys shows us that “revenue from 3D printers, associated materials and services grew to $3.3 billion last year in a 34% increase from 2013.”Manufacturing

So what has been the big change over the last year? We could say it has been the huge impact that the 3D printing revolution has had on the manufacturing industry, as we know it.

With price points reducing and yet materials and capabilities of 3D printers increasing, opportunities for manufacturing are being opened up to more consumers than ever before. Everyone from home based entrepreneurs, hobbyists and small businesses to multinational corporations with specific requirements such as aerospace, automotive and healthcare now have access to being in control of their own manufacturing.

The development of Information Technology alongside 3D machines have reached the point where industry as we have known it is changing. Mobility, flexibility, independence and choice rule like never before.

With the 3D printing industry being predicted by 2020 to be generating more than $21 billion in annual revenue worldwide, is there any wonder we can’t stop talking about it?

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