Friday, 20 July 2007
Interview (Part 2) with Cathy Lewis, CEO Desktop Factory: Will the Final Frontier soon be in your Kitchen?
CH. Let’s talk about the future..... Do you foresee the day when a $1000 3D printers will hit the market?
CL. Not only do we see a day when 3D printers are available to the mass market for under $1K – we intend to lead the revolution and insure the democratization of 3D.
CH. Does that prospect excite you? For example, what do you think the total annual market volume/value for such a low cost 3D Printer will be?
CL. We have already seen massive pent up demand for a $5K 3D printer - so the potential in the consumer market will be significant, well into the billions of dollars. The best way to think of this opportunity is as being roughly analogous to the impact low cost laser printers have had on us over the past 15 years.
CH. What about the market, the kind of custom? What will be its impact here?
CL. This is the 3D printer for the rest of us – read – all of us! At under $1K you will see a 3D printer in every home and one day we will creatively disrupt the manufacturing value chain – enabling the consumer to buy a design, a part or tool from the web and print it at home. Just imagine the positive impact that will have on green house gas emissions, etc., etc. And, in terms of innovation - the heart beat of our global competitive advantage – this 3D spark will absolutely ignite a new era of innovation and creativity.
CH. What opportunities lay ahead for material feedstock providers?
CL. Clearly the consumables for this market are every bit as important as the STL file and the printer. We will provide a low cost, safe nylon based powder as our first material which results in a very robust, durable part. However, we know that additional types of consumable materials will help grow the market and the applications potential for 3D. I think the various manufacturers of these types of materials have an excellent opportunity to work with companies like Desktop Factory in developing the next generation of exciting 3D output materials.
CH. Is there anything else that you think the reader should know about DF?
CL. We are a small but dedicated team of professionals from two major domains – 2D and 3D printing – who have a powerful and compelling vision to deliver 3D printing to the masses – after all it is a 3D world – we should be enabled to print that way!