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1Top 5 Reasons to Crack the 3D Printer Market

What are 3D Printers?3D printers actually print 3D models using a variety of materials. By using 3D CADD software, an engineer designs a model or prototype – whether it’s a house or a prosthetic heart valve-and then, uses 3D printers provided from companies like Objet Geometries, Organovo and Z Corp. to produce a 3D version that can be made from both non-organic and organic resin materials like rubber, plastic or even human tissue. Different printer companies offer different printing materials.

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Growth Industries3D Printers are sold in any industry where prototypes and models are required. According to Objet, some of the highest demand industries include federal, aerospace and defense, medical devices, high technology, education and manufacturing. The company counts companies like Burton Snowboards, Radio Flyer, Nike and New Balance among its high-profile customers.

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Reason # 1: Soaring Market GrowthWho knew? The 3D printing market is in major growth mode. In a down economy, companies that want to stay afloat need to innovate and get products to market as fast as possible. According to analysts, companies spent $156.4M on 3D printing technologies in 2008, and the market is expected to double by 2015.

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Reason #2: Hot Tech Means Cool Company3D printing is hot and, it’s cool. Today’s engineering and architectural students are using printers in their labs, and will expect to use them in the future which means an increase in market demand over the next decade. Plus, the technology is getting smaller and more affordable so companies can bring it in house instead of outsourcing to third party printing companies. That means a bigger marketplace and more VAR opportunities.

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Reason #3: Recurring RevenueCustomers can’t waltz into Staples and buy human tissue – not yet, anyway-or patented resin for printing. That means customers need to keep coming back to suppliers to purchase printing supplies to keep their 3D printer producing.

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Reason #4: The Future (and Market) is Wide OpenObjet Geometries is one of a handful of 3D printer vendors, and one of the only that taps resellers like Massachusetts-based CADD Edge to broaden their reach. Chances are, VARs won’t be competing on price as they may be the only reseller in their geography.

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Reason #5: Complementary SolutionsA 3D Printer can help bring along sales in other higher margin product lines like Cadd software. Tim Preston, owner of reseller CADD Edge started selling SolidWorks solutions and, then, combined the offering with an Objet printer for positive results.”The two technologies go hand in hand, and it helps us meet the needs of our customer better,” said Preston. “We’re selling a product that people want and they need.”