A New Dimension In Printing
The 3-D printing market is continuing to surge, with research firm IDC forecasting that sales of 3=D printers, materials, software and services will grow to $28.9 billion in 2020. That's more than double the $13.2 billion in sales that the market saw in 2016. And increasingly, vendors of 3-D printers are looking to work with the channel. "We've gotten beyond some of the super-excited early adopters who were willing to buy through an e-commerce platform," said Luke Winston, head of sales and services at Somerville, Mass.-based Formlabs, maker of the Form 2 high-resolution desktop 3-D printer. "It is a complex process -- designing in CAD and printing [objects], the whole workflow of doing a prototype. It does require more hand-holding -- solutions selling, training. That's where VARs start playing a really big role for us."
A number of other 3-D printer vendors are working with channel partners as well -- such as MakerBot, Dremel and 3D Systems -- while HP Inc. is also diving into the 3-D printer business with the help of the channel.
As part of CRN Printer Week 2017, the CRN Test Center has rounded up 10 3-D printers now on the market that are hot in the channel.