3-D printing has become an enormous area of interest for investors and consumers alike, with companies such as Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS ) and 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD ) leading the charge in this space. The excitement is only growing as the technology -- long popular in the industrial space -- has become more and more affordable for individual consumers.
The recent 2014 International CES in Las Vegas may have been the tipping point for consumer interest. 3D Systems still derives about 90% of its revenue from the professional market, but it made some big announcements in Vegas on the consumer and "prosumer" side -- including an update and price cut on its third-generation Cube model.
Stratasys, meanwhile, is in fine shape on the consumer and prosumer side with its recently acquired MakerBot division. Like 3D Systems, MakerBot made several big announcements at CES. Our roving reporter Rex Moore was there and conducted an extensive (and entertaining) interview with CEO Bre Pettis.
In this segment, Pettis discusses the exciting points of three new printers that the company is bringing to market. The new MakerBot Replicator Mini is a great consumer starting point without sacrificing quality. The MakerBot Replicator Desktop, which Pettis calls the "prosumer" model, has a host of professional features, but at a price point still accessible to consumers. Finally, the Replicator Z18, with its enormous build volume and heated build chamber for increased stability when working with large objects, is the printer Pettis sees as being the most disruptive of them all.
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