The idea of printing 3-D objects from a home printer seems too good to be true, and in his article “Why home 3-D printing never lived up to the hype” for Vox Technology, Timothy B. Lee describes three reasons why everyone doesn’t have one in their homes — price, sophistication and know-how.
In a May 2016 interview, industry analyst Terry Wohlers stated that there was never any market for consumer printers.
“Home 3-D printers are too expensive for amateur tinkering, but not sophisticated enough for professional use,” Lee wrote.
There is a gap between the kinds of 3-D printers people can afford and what people want to use 3-D printers to accomplish, but another reason the home 3-D printer’s sales fall short of projections is because 3-D printers are not simple to use. Unlike 2-D printers, 3-D printers require design proficiency and software expertise.
The combination of high price, less-powerful printers, and lack of consumer know-how keeps home 3-D printers’ sales from reaching their once-projected hype. However, this does not mean the 3-D printing industry is failing.
Wohlers’ data of the 3D printing industry shows growth as a whole because of rising sales to commercial and academic customers.
Read the full article on Vox Technology.
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