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Desktop 3D printing is in decline claims new research by London based firm CONTEXT. “Shipments of Personal/Desktop 3D printers saw their first ever year-on-year drop in Q1 2018 with 3% fewer printers shipping globally than in Q1 2017,” reads the report.

How does this research match the experience of the wider 3D printing industry?

CONTEXT - Analyst - Chris - Connery - Trap

CONTEXT analyst Chris Connery avoids the, seemingly seasonal, trap of declaring the death of 3D printing*. Indeed, the primary focus of the report – like this site – is the industrial 3D printing industry.

“This near-term downturn is expected to be an anomaly rather than a trend: vendors like 3D Systems are again focusing on this class of printers,” says Connery as VP for Global Analysis at CONTEXT.

Data - Collection - Market - Segment - Task

Data collection in this market segment is no easy task. Many active participants are not listed on a stock exchange, and thus as private ventures they are neither subject to auditor scrutiny nor regular publication of financial data.

Yet, as our 3D Printing Industry team spends a sizeable amount of time with manufacturers, end-users and the wider 3D printing community – we are probably better positioned than many when it comes to telling which way the wind is blowing.

Printing - Segment - % - Printer - Revenues

The industrial/professional 3D printing segment represents more 81% of all global 3D printer revenues, says CONTEXT. Business here is reported as solid with the segment up 14% year on year, even in the traditionally seasonally weaker first quarter.

Industrial 3D printing trade for the remainder of 2018 is set to be brisk. “We are forecasting a 21% Y/Y printer shipment growth in the Industrial/Professional segment currently ,” says Connery.

CONTEXT - Report - Differs - Methodology - Analysis

The CONTEXT report differs in methodology from other analysis of the additive manufacturing sector in that shipments rather than sales – or orders – are reported. Under the accrual basis of accounting sales can be recorded prior...
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