Why Some 3-D Printing Companies Have Failed

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Just a few years ago the possibilities for the 3-D printing market seemed endless. It was easy to believe that soon people would be printing their own replacement parts for electronics and consumer goods.

However, some companies focused on the consumer market have seen a steep downturn over the past two years.

So what’s happening? Boston-area 3-D printing company Formlabs’ Jory Block said the focus on the consumer market is a nail in the coffin to the industry.

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’There was sort of a hysteria around the home user for 3-D printing. We’re not quite there yet,’ Block said.

Formlabs has survived and thrived through targeting the small- and midsize-business user. In those cases, 3-D printing cuts time and costs for prototyping.

’We’re trying to make a tool for people who make stuff,’ Block said.

Verticals including engineering, design, research and health care have all capitalized on Formlabs technology, he said.