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Printers - Consumables

Gartner: 3D Printers to Grow by 108% in 2016

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Gartner: 3D Printers to Grow by 108% in 2016

Gartner reports global 3D printer shipments will total 455772 units in 2016-- a 108% increase over the 219168 units shipped in 2015, and a number set to reach over 6.7 million by 2020.

Growth in W. Europe should be "very strong" in 2016, even if it will be beaten by the high growth rates experienced in Chin and Asia/Pacific regions.

"Once a niche market, 3D printing has continued its rapid transformation into a broad-based mainstream technology embraced by consumers and enterprises around the world," the analyst remarks. "The evolution of hardware and software along with an ever-expanding collection of usable materials has driven growth in both the consumer and enterprise 3D printing markets."

3D printing is no longer the preserve of specialist industries, and currently finds a variety of uses in both consumer and enterprise applications. For instance it is used to create prototypes, augment manufacturing process and produce finished products, and Gartner expects more processes to emerge, leading to wider and more diverse growth.

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HP Presents Sprocket Mini Printer

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HP Presents Sprocket Mini Printer

HP announces a take on the portable photo printers popularised by the Fuji Instax line-- the Sprocket, a palm-size number complete with obligatory companion app.

The Sprocket pairs with iOS or Android devices via Bluetooth or NFC, and prints 2x3 photos or stickers either directly from the handset's camera roll or social media (Instagram, Facebook or Flicker). Printing comes through ZINK (Zero Ink), the technology used by similar products from LG and Polaroid using special sheets of paper covered with heat-activated dye colour crystals instead of ink cartridges.

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HP Buys Samsung Printing Unit

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HP Buys Samsung Printing Unit

HP proves printers are still a relevant business as it buys the Samsung printer unit for $1.05 billion, an acquisition the companys says will "disrupt and reinvent" the copier industry.

The deal also covers some 6500 printing patents, as well as 1300 researchers and engineers making the Samsung printing team. Post-acquisition Samsung printing technologies will be folded within the HP product offering, such as the PageWide A3 MFP line. It also provides HP with the means of manufacturing own printing engines, a critical component making laser printers.

“When we became a separate company just 10 months ago, it enabled us to become nimble and focus on accelerating growth and reinventing industries,” HP CEO Dion Weisler says. “We are doing this with 3D printing and the disruption of the $12 trillion traditional manufacturing industry, and now we are going after the $55 billion copier space. The acquisition of Samsung’s printer business allows us to deliver print innovation and create entirely new business opportunities with far better efficiency, security, and economics for customers.”

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IDC: 3D Printing Spending to Reach $35bn in 2020

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IDC: 3D Printing Spending to Reach $35bn in 2020

According to IDC global 3D printing revenues will reach $35.4 billion in 2020-- a sum double the $15.9bn revenues forecast for 2016, and one representing a CAGR of 24.1% over the 2015-2020 period.

Around half of the revenues for the forecast are made by 3D printers and materials, but software and related services should also see "significant" growth. For instance, CAD software revenues are forecast to grow by 300% over the 5-year period, while on-dmeand parts services will nearly match such growth. Driving such results is the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products demanding a high degree of customisation in non-traditional environments.

"Customer spending on 3D printing capabilities is following the market away from mass market consumer printers towards holistic solutions that enable higher-end-– and more profitable-– use cases," the analyst says. "As the market for printers, materials and services matures, IDC expects new 3D printing capabilities to enable a next-wave of customer innovation in discrete manufacturing, product design, and life sciences."

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Fujifilm Updates Instax Share Mobile Printer

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Fujifilm Updates Instax Share Mobile Printer

Fujifilm announces the Instax Share SP-2-- a sequel to the company's portable instant film printer described as faster, more reliable and offering more customisation options.

Instax Share printers are able to produce Polaroid-style instant prints from photographs from either mobile phones or compatible cameras. Fujifilm promises the SP-2 is faster and quieter than the previous version, with a laser exposure system allowing it to print 320-dpi resolution photos in 10 seconds.

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The Smartphone-Powered 3D Printer

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The Smartphone-Powered 3D Printer

Smartphones can power a number of devices, including PCs and virtual reality headsets, but a startup named OLO 3D takes the concept to an unlikely place with the OLO, a smartphone-powered 3D printer.

Described as a miniature stereolithography 3D printing system, the OLO is compatible with any smartphone with a display up to 5.8-inch in size, and essentially uses a combination of companion app (iOS and Android) and smartphone display to replace the projector component in a DLP printer.

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Mattel Brings ThingMaker Back as 3D Printer

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Mattel Brings ThingMaker Back as 3D Printer

Mattel is the next company to take on 3D printing as it presents the ThingMaker at the New York Toy Fair-- a bright orange low-cost 3D printer complete with iOS/Android app co-developed with AutoDesk.

The ThingMaker is technically a resurrection of an 1960s Mattel toy named, well, the ThingMaker. The old "at-home maker device" allowed kids to create small objects by pouring liquid plastic into molds before heating and cooling. The new ThingMaker also allows kids to make small objects, if through the power of 3D printing and a companion app.

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Toshiba Claims Faster 3D Metal Printer

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Toshiba Claims Faster 3D Metal Printer

Toshiba presents a prototype 3D metal printer promising fabrication speeds up to 10x faster than printers using powder bed fusion, the current most common metal sintering technology.

The printer uses laser metal deposition (LMD)-- a technology that deposits powdered metal and fires a laser beam in tandem. A high-speed nozzle based on Toshiba fluid simulation technology reduces the area where metal particles are injected, while the laser focuses very precisely on the tiny powder-covered area.

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Gartner: 2016 3D Printer Shipments to Reach 460000

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Gartner: 2016 3D Printer Shipments to Reach 460000

Gartner predicts rapid near future growth for the 3D printer market with 2016 shipments reaching 496475 units, a 105% increase over the 244533 units forecast to ship in 2015.

Such growth will continue over the next few years, as the analyst says shipments will "more than double" every year between 2016 and 2019 before global shipments grow to over 5.6 million.

"Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printer technologies are driving both enterprise and consumer demand, with unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers increasing significantly," Gartner says. "The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers."

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