Q&A | January 24, 2014

If You Don't Sell 3D Printers Now, You'll Hate Yourself Later

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3D Printing - UAV

Business Solutions magazine asked TJ Trojan, senior vice president of product management for SYNNEX Corporation, about opportunities to sell 3D printers, anticipated margins, and how to add 3D printers to your line card.

BSM: In which verticals can VARs find opportunities to sell 3D printers? What are the applications?

Trojan: Key verticals for 3D printers include architecture/engineering, medical/dental, industrial/manufacturing, automotive/aerospace, and education (K-12 and higher education). There is also a burgeoning consumer market for the low-end and some production services. Core applications can be made in architecture, automotive, aerospace, airframe, and health-related products such as dental prosthetics, implants, prototypes, jewelry, and castings. 

Applications are almost unlimited from a creative and design perspective. There can be small limitations related to available materials and how those materials can be used in terms of strength, flexibility, durability, heat resistance and biocompatibility. However, available materials continue to increase. 3D printing has more than 100 material options today including plastic, nylon, metal, rubber, wax, and composite that can be used for a wide range of purposes. In early January, 3D Systems announced new materials including ceramic and edible materials.

BSM: How lucrative can 3D printer sales be? How large are sales and what is the typical margin?

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