Five-Point Guide to Getting Started in the 3D Printing Industry

by Jennifer Clark on April 27, 2016 · 0 comments

in 3D,ScanSource POS & Barcode

  1. Understand 3D printing technology and its phenomenal potentials.

Even though 3D printing has been around for almost 30 years, we are just now at the tipping point of mass adoption and utilization.  Just in the past few years, new technological advancements have made 3D printers more capable than ever before by fundamentally changing how things are manufactured.  We encourage you to spend some time becoming more familiar with the technology. Once you’re ready to dive deeper, ScanSource has compiled considerable amounts of industry data and would be glad to share it with you.

  1. Set up your company structure for 3D success.

It is imperative that when you attack the 3D market, you dedicate discrete resources to the program.  Best results are achieved when one sales person and one technical person are assigned to building the 3D business. Having more than one team is okay, but less than one dedicated person is not recommended.  And, it is highly recommended for your dedicated 3D resellers to either:

  • be from the 3D industry
  • work for a 3D printer or 3D scanner company
  • work for a 3D software company
  • work for a manufacturing company that uses 3D printers and CAD software in their product development process, etc.

You can hire from within, but make sure you select smart, highly motivated people who want to learn and be in 3D.

  1. Focus on outbound selling.

The mass market for 3D printing is far from being achieved. In fact, it is estimated that only 25% of manufacturing companies use 3D printing. (Price Waterhouse Cooper, 3D Printing & the shape of industrial mfg., 6- 2014).  One of the very biggest obstacles for end-user adoption is that more than 45% of the companies don’t have any internal expertise on what 3D printing is and what it can do.  So, you need to spend lots of time educating the customer on the technology and the applications.

  1. Focus on prototyping and jigs and fixtures applications.

More than 60% of all 3D printing is used by engineers to make prototypes plus jigs and fixtures. In the beginning, focus your 3D printing business to penetrate and succeed in this vertical application. Once that is achieved, and a base of success is established for your business, look at the many other exciting opportunities.

  1. Know your local market.

Do you have a lot of manufacturing companies in your area? Are they your current customers? Are there educational institutions and government agencies in your local area as well? If so, you have a good market to penetrate with your 3D printing business, as these are great targets for 3D business.

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