Insiders in the 3D printing industry like to point out how little their technology has in common with hardcopy. That may be true, but why are so many hardcopy OEMs, channel players, and materials vendors entering or evaluating the 3D printing market?
The answer is twofold: First, the way 3D systems and supplies are sold and supported is almost identical to the hardcopy market. Second, hardcopy companies with manufacturing, materials, and channel know-how and infrastructure have a big advantage over 3D startups. Actionable Intelligence's latest report, “Understanding the 3D Printer Market from a 2D Perspective,” explains how hardcopy channel partners can use those advantages to find success in the 3D market.
“OEMs in the 3D market actively seek out hardcopy resellers because they understand the value of those resellers’ know-how and infrastructure,” says Michael Nadeau, the report's author and the senior analyst following 3D markets for Actionable Intelligence.
The report compares and contrasts the hardcopy and 3D markets in terms of technology, channels, and consumables. It then describes the key 3D vertical markets and how businesses in those segments are buying and using the technology. “Most of the 3D verticals are growing rapidly led by manufacturing, education, and healthcare,” says Mr. Nadeau. “All these verticals rely heavily on the OEMs' channel partners for support and advice.”
Entering the 3D market will have its risks, and the report details those challenges and offers advice for managing or overcoming them. “Perhaps the biggest challenge is setting the right customer expectations in a market that is rapidly growing and changing,” says Mr. Nadeau. “Channel partners who play the trusted advisor role well will be rewarded.”
“This Actionable Intelligence report is sorely needed because so many players in the hardcopy market are looking at 3D now,” says Charles Brewer, president of Actionable Intelligence. “It's an exciting opportunity for our clients, and our report will help them make a smooth, informed transition to 3D.”