TCT Magazine + Personalize is well-respected in 3D printing, having covered the industry for 23 years. Yes, you young whippersnappers, 3D printing and additive manufacturing have been around for a long time -- minus the recent hype for most of its existence.
But TCT doesn't get caught up in the hype. That's why visiting with the magazine's James Woodcock every year at the International CES in Las Vegas is such a pleasure and a great learning experience.
Woodcock is a straight talker, and gives an honest opinion no matter what question I put to him. In the video below, he talks about the still-red-hot growth in the industry, as well as the biggest story in the coming months: the imminent arrival of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) onto the scene. Its Multi Jet Fusion printer should hit the market in 2016, and it's impressive.
Woodcock says HP's entry isn't something 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), and other established industry players need to worry about, however. HP will bring in important competition, but should help expand the market as a whole. To get more of Woodcock's perspective, watch the video below.
3D printing expert James Woodcock of TCT Magazine says 12 months is a long time in the industry, and the number of developments -- and the speed we see them -- is increasing every year.
Woodcock: In terms of the technologies, the last year has seen the likes of HP come to the table with their offering, which is one of the most exciting aspects. 3D Systems has continued to grow. They continue with their acquisition spree. They've got a huge portfolio, now. Companies like Materialise are here at CES for the first time. Now on the stock market. Now trading. They're all going places.
Here's a great illustration of the skyrocketing interest in the consumer part of this sector, at least. Last year was the first time that 3D printing had its own dedicated section at the consumer electronics show. This year the number of exhibits has grown by 40%.
Woodcock: Forty percent year-on-year growth -- that's pretty impressive for any viewpoint. But there's exhibitors from all over the world. We've got quite a few European companies. American companies. Quite a lot coming over from Asia, as well, this year. And they're all starting to find their niche.
Of all the developments in recent months, however, one has the industry buzzing: the entrance of $60 billion giant Hewlett-Packard into 3D printing. HP's talking points for its upcoming Multi Jet Fusion technology are impressive: Management claims it will be the fastest product, producing the highest quality, targeting the largest market with the largest growth potential. It will be at least 10 times faster than similar technology.
Woodcock: Well, they're a $64 billion company. They've got the resources. They've got the technical know-how. Their system is an ink jet-based system and they're one of the companies, probably, with the finest knowledge of ink jetting in the world. So depending on how they play it, then that will shake things up. Again, that won't limit, I don't think necessarily, the industry. I don't think that's a bad thing and I'd be surprised if any of the existing big companies were worried about the entrance of HP. I think it's a good thing and I think they will see it as a good thing, as well.
A rising tide lifts all printers, as it were.
Reporting from the International CES in Las Vegas, I'm Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore.