The next few years are going to be exciting. Desktop 3D printers are going to be in everyone’s home and 3D printer manufacturers will sell units like candies at a kindergarten school. Right?
While I’m extremely positive about the future of Desktop 3D printers, the industry needs to first jump the “chasm” that separates the hobbyists and the early majority. Within the next 5 years, manufacturers that don’t make significant changes in their current strategy will miss on the next wave of customers.
What’s stopping desktop 3D printers from mass adoption?
So far, manufacturers have mostly focused on hardware, while software has been left behind. For this reason, we have seen a lot of hardware improvements. Printers are now faster and more reliable. They are also cheap, the Monoprice Mini is a good example of a printer that anyone can afford. Some printers are now beautiful to look at. Our friends at Kodama are putting together an affordable printer that almost looks like an iPhone. I can picture the new Obsidian looking great in anyone’s living room.
If Hardware has improved so much, then why we continue to sell to the hobbyists and not mainstream? The reason is: software has fallen behind.