The 3D Printing Startup Landscape

A map of the 3D Printing landscape, ~185 companies organized into 9 different categories and counting.

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3D Printer Manufacturers: Companies that manufacture 3D printers and accompanying hardware (e.g. injection heads). There are numerous players in this space from large incumbents (e.g. Stratasys), to emerging crowdfunded projects (e.g. Pirate3D).

3D Printing Services: Companies in this category provide 3D printing as an outsourced service for their customers. Services can vary on a spectrum from consulting (e.g. design, create, scan, print) to only managing one aspect of the value chain (e.g. upload your design to print, scanning service only).

3D Printing Marketplaces: Marketplaces that connect two parties around 3D printing products and services. This can include the finalized 3D products (e.g. jewelry, action figures), CAD files, and proposals (e.g. designers looking for bids from manufacturers).

3D Printing Materials: Providers of 3D printing materials such as proprietary plastic filament (e.g. acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or resin.

3D Scanners: Companies that manufacture scanning equipment used to create digital models of 3D objects. Models can then be reprinted or modified and shared using compatible software. Includes industrial 3D scanners, and more recently, consumer-focused scanners (e.g. MakerBot) and do-it-yourself types on crowdfunding websites (e.g. Kickstarter, Indiegogo).

3D Printing Applications: Companies that highlight specific use cases and advantages of 3D printing (e.g. mass customization). Emerging trends in the space are health, dental, consumer applications (e.g. custom eyewear), rapid manufacturing.

3D Printing CAD Software: Computer Aided Design software that enables users to upload, create, and modify 3D models. Some of the newer CAD software can be used directly through the browser, reducing friction for e-commerce websites or consumer facing services.

3D Printing Communities: Groups and websites that organize multiple users around 3D printing.

3D Printing Networks: 3D printing networks connect to printers via the cloud and enable features such as wireless printing, job reporting, etc..

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