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Juniper Research: 3D Printers could be a big consumer hit

Consumer 3D printer hardware sales and material spend is predicted to be worth $1 billion by 2018, according to Juniper Research.

The analyst also hinted that there is potential for 3D printers to become a huge hit with consumers, should the technology develop accordingly to fit a mainstream market.

Juniper Research, who have also claimed that 3D printing will reach one million homes within four years, revealed that the short-term market looks less interesting, though long-term growth could be very strong.

Currently, the shipments of 3D printers are at relatively low levels when it comes to industrial and professional use, with the market worth only $75 million.

However, on the other hand, when compared to a consumer market, suppliers such as 3D Systems and Stratasys have confirmed that there has been an increased demand for professional 3D printers and the materials.

Also, there is hope that, with the likes of HP and Epson entering into the professional 3D printer market, a volume market will begin to take shape.

“While there has been an increase in awareness of 3D printing it is still, and will continue to be, a niche consumer technology,” said Nitin Bhas, author of the report titled Consumer 3D Printing & Scanning: Service Models, Devices & Opportunities 2014-2018.

“In order for 3D printing to successfully find a mainstream market amongst consumers, it needs to widen the applications available that integrate consumer lifestyle and drive a number of applications beyond professional printing.”

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