What remains to be seen is how HP's planned entry into the metal 3D printing market impacts enterprises. HP Metal Jet was outlined in September but broad availability isn't expected until 2021. In any case, it's safe to say there is a lot of interest in 3D printing with metal among manufacturers. Stratasys reported earnings on Thursday and delivered third quarter revenue of $162 million, up from $155.9 million a year ago. The company reported a net loss of a penny a share and non-GAAP earnings of 11 cents a share.
HP said it will use its own Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology in its supply chain to lower costs, cut design time and lead times. And HP's implementation of its own additive manufacturing technology will also serve as a massive case study. HP delivers almost 100 million products annually through its network of factories and manufacturing partners. HP's program is called Reinventing HP With Multi Jet Fusion is being outlined at the Additive Manufacturing Users Group conference. Enterprise companies eating their own dog food and highlighting returns to customers is nothing new.
Techstars counts 1,200 startups as alumni. Techstars has long been known for its seed funding of tech startups. Its accelerator counts 1,200 startups among its alumni, including PillPack, the online pharmacy recently acquired by Amazon, and cloud computing company Digital Ocean. Now, in partnership with tools giant Stanley Black & Decker, it launched its first additive manufacturing accelerator to fund new ideas in 3-D printing, rapid prototyping and generative design. Today, the Stanley Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator, which will be co-located with Stanley Black & Decker's advanced manufacturing center in Hartford, Connecticut, announced the 10 companies selected for that first class, and they show the breadth of innovation going on in the industry.
Hart, who is also an associate professor at MIT, says that 3-D printing can do everything from conceptualizing and prototyping a product to producing its last unit. Additive manufacturing--the formal name for 3-D printing--is increasingly used at various life stages of an item, as well as in new industries, and Hart points to this as proof of the technology's coming of age. He sees big companies like HP successfully creating and selling 3-D printers, eyeglass companies using the technology to disrupt the supply chain, and an uptick in additive manufacturing adoption to create aerospace parts. Additive manufacturing is providing value for industries outside the bounds of what may have traditionally been considered suitable for 3-D-printable products. "Frito-Lay uses the lowest-cost printers to print prototype potato chip geometries," says Hart. "They claim that getting these plastic potato chips in their customers' hands gives them more confidence in scaling up their production tooling."
Now that 3D printing has gone beyond the world of manufacturing, we're seeing a number of interesting and, frankly, odd uses of the technology. The desktop 3D printer market has grown by over a billion dollars for the second consecutive year, according to the 21st edition of the Wohlers Report. From 2014 to 2015, the sale of desktop printers that have a price tag below 5,000 grew almost 70 percent, from just over 160,000 to over 278,000. The industrial -- or 5,000 printer market -- is also growing, with 62 manufacturers now in the market space, compared to, compared to only 49 in 2014. The report also shows that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the 3D printing industry (also known as "additive manufacturing") is buoyant.