I am considering purchase of 3d printer. Is there any market data available for this industry?
What does it cost to produce a typical model? How much markup is there? What is the time to learn the process?
I'm not sure what you mean by market data. You can purchase a 3D printer for anywhere from $4000 to $80,000+. A number of companies develop 3D printers. HP and Stratasys just announced a desktop 3D printer. (See www.makepartsfast.com for the most current info on 3D printers.) 3D Systems, ZCorp., Objet, divisions of Stratasys and a couple of other vendors make these type of printers. Some will let you print multiple materials simultaneously.
What does it cost to produce a typical model? I assume you are talking about a part model. In which case, cost depends on model complexity and material used for the printed prototype. The more you use the printer, the better the price/performance ratio.
How much markup? Actually, in interviewing various vendors there is not a lot of markup on 3D printers. Most are priced at just slightly above cost. I have heard that a few are priced below cost in order to develop rapid acceptance of this technology.
What is the time to learn the process? Actual use of the 3D printer is pretty quick. Once you have designed your part through CAD and converted it to a STL file, it's pretty much a matter of hit the start button and wait for the printer to print the model, which can take a couple of hours to a day or day and a half, again depending on design complexity.
Hope this info helps you Jack.
Thank you for your reply. In the next few days I will find a "typical model" of one of the many parts I have created. If you can provide a time and cost estimate as well as ROI for a basic printer setup that would be great. You do not need to actually produce the part. This will help me decide if it is in my interest to acyually purchase a machine and offer printing services to other customers.
Once again, Thank you. Your response has been the most detailed and informative I have recieved thus far.
Lots of info out there - try www.makepartsfast.com as well as look up Terry Whoeler's (spelling error here) he and another guy Todd Grimm provide a lot of industry data - companies to look at are
Hope this helps.
Thank you for the info. I have been away for the last few weeks installing equipment so I have quite a bit of email to catch up on. I will probably start looking into a purchase shortly after the new year begins and will definately be in contact.