The Econolyst - Building a Small Business Around 3D Printing: By Dr Phil Reeves, Managing Director at the Econolyst
3D printing has been around and gaining power for more than 26 years. Unfortunately, due to many economical and resource constraints it never really took off on a larger scale. The 21st century’s technological changes, mainly linked to the Internet, social networking, and the accessibility of computers, have opened multiple markets to 3D printing and other CNC systems, which are expected to play important role in the near boom in industry.
It is already an 8.4 billion dollars industry, which, according to Dr Phil Reeves, penetrates only 8% of the available market. Main drivers for the low-end/home sectors are usually publications, newspaper articles and unlimited flow of digital information.
A key feature, making the 3D printing market unlike any other, is the global scale. The Internet has no physical boundaries, and since there is no physical labour involved in digital product manufacturing, a production core can be placed anywhere.
Dr Phil Reeves gave an example with the 3D4D Challenge winners WOOF and the start-up of their business, sponsored by the Econolyst and Tech4Trade (see 3D4D Challenge).