In the following video from EuroMold 2014, the world's largest 3D printing conference, held in Frankfurt, Germany in November, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews Gary Shu, marketing director at XYZprinting, an up-and-coming 3D printing company that's backed by Taiwanese manufacturing giant New Kinpo Group. XYZ has the manufacturing scale, expertise, and resources to offer 3D printing products geared toward consumers and serious enthusiasts, for a compelling value proposition in the marketplace. Longer term, XYZ has ambitions to become a leader in the 3D printing industry.
During the segment, Heller and Shu discuss 3D printing adoption rates, creating greater awareness of 3D printing, and making a case for XYZ's products over Stratasys' MakerBot.
A full transcript follows the video.
Steve Heller: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about some of the hurdles and challenges to driving more adoption. What do you think is getting in the way of adoption rates today?
Gary Shu: I think it's still the nature of the market. Honestly, selling on a global scale some of the regions that we just give a little push, grow really fast -- like Asia Pacific, like Australia and New Zealand. With a little bit of marketing effort, the market's doing really well for us.
But some of the markets are just not as exposed to the technologies, to the idea of 3D printing. Then we give a lot of push, still really working hard on developing the market.
I think application development, the market exposure, the user exposure to the technologies; still a big challenge for us to make the market as big as we wish.
As I said, the market probably is not expanding as quick as we wished -- probably because also XYZ, we do not have that kind of resources to educate a broader market, so we just push it inch by inch to develop our market. I think market exposure to get people to adopt the new technologies is still actually a bit of a challenge for us.
Heller: Creating awareness is definitely central to your growth strategy, so how do you plan on creating awareness?
Shu: I guess application development is one thing. Brand development is another. For instance, this show, EuroMold, is one of both that we do, trying to expose a bit of brand images.
But we will be trying to approach lots of application development, education, engineering, design -- all kinds of applications. We will try to expose it into that kind of smaller events, trying to get more application uses.
Heller: Can you also make the case for buying, let's say a MakerBot versus buying XYZ? What makes your product so much better? Is it just the price? Is it the features? Is it the reliability? What is the marketing angle there?
Shu: That's a challenging question to answer, because we have to admit that MakerBot, they have really, really good products and advanced technologies with so many years expanding into the markets.
XYZ printing is relatively a rookie in the markets, but I think both of us, we are trying to offer our best into the market in terms of our products and technologies, but a little bit of an advantage of XYZ just being our background as a manufacturing group, as supply chain management.
We have manufacturers everywhere in the world, so that gives us a little bit of an advantage in terms of our product pricing, quality controls, and so forth. But still, this is the market that all of us have got to be putting out effort to expand the market. That's the key.
Heller: Very good. Thank you again, so much Gary, for your time.
Steve Heller has no position in any stocks mentioned. He is seriously considering whether he should buy a 3D printer to start his own 3D-printed selfie-stick business before hundreds of competitors beat him to the punch. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.