Commercial Printer Details Pros, Cons of 3D Printing
As for B2B applications, Boer doesn't see a clear path to business. It is more of a circuitous path with many dead ends, he says. But that's the here and now. With the machines being financially friendly and the business market not exactly overrun with 3D service providers, it's a low-level risk compared to other ancillary products and services.
"You're looking at an 18- to 24-month learning curve before you come close to breaking even," Boer says. "That might not seem like a lot of time but, given all the other digital printing equipment pieces you can go out and buy—like a $15,000 inkjet t-shirt printer, where you're 'guaranteed' a return on investment in three to six months—for many print services providers an inkjet t-shirt printer is a lower risk, faster return on investment. A 3D inkjet printer investment is a bigger risk, potentially bigger reward." PI