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Is 3D printing facing a slowdown?

Is 3D printing facing a slowdown?

April 28, 2015

ZDNet's chart reflecting industry views on 3D printing

ZDNet’s chart reflecting industry views on 3D printing

An article discusses struggles faced by 3D printer manufacturers, and whether HP’s move into the industry is causing a market “slowdown”.

The article on ZDNet discussed recent issues experienced by 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems, which cut its first quarter revenue targets “due to a slowdown amid industrial customers”, with the site questioning whether the company’s “woes” are down to “company-specific execution issues or a broader slowdown as HP eventually wades into the market”.

Industry analysts are said to have been “wound up” by the manufacturer’s reasoning for the revision, including “currency fluctuations”, industries cutting printer purchases “due to lower oil prices as well as materials”, and the inability to “procure metal and nylon applications to sell more printers”.

The company’s poor results were reflected in CEO Avi Reichental’s comments that he was “surprised and disappointed”, even though it sold more software, services and consumer units. 3D Systems’ customers are said to be “pondering how to manage currency headwinds and economic issues”, and though Reichental believes demand is “strengthening”, the company is “moving to integrate acqusitions and become more efficient”.

His comments that the company’s issues are “indicative of periodic pauses in the fast-growing industry” did nothing to stop analysts “hammer[ing]” the company, with its shares down more than 14 percent over the weekend. A number in fact noted “concerns about the industrial business” for 3D printing, which is “driving profits and sales growth overall for the 3D printing industry”.

Shares in another manufacturer, Stratasys, were cut as research indicates “sales are becoming tougher”, and MakerBot – which Stratasys previously acquired – has been forced to close stores and cut staff. ZDNet reflected that these issues could be a result of the “HP effect”, with the OEM recently announcing it would launch its 3D printers in 2016, and consumers are “likely to delay purchase[s] if only to check out gear from HP”.

With the OEM demonstrating its technology already, analysts have noticed that “HP is reaching out more to potential customers and reaching out to the ecosystem”, with this “dissonance” likely to increase at two future 3D printing conferences. ZDNet predicts that customers are “behaving more rationally and conservatively in their purchasing decisions” and as such, “bets that the 3D printing market will recover for the second half may be a bit of a stretch.

“It’s unclear whether HP can back up its 3D printing talk over time, but enterprises will have to at least conduct due diligence if only to squeeze existing suppliers such as Stratasys and 3D Systems”.

Categories : City News

Tags : 3D printing HP Market Data

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