3D printer sales decline due to lower consumer interest

    The second quarter was unprofitable for 3D Systems , a manufacturer of 3D printers. Financial results were worse than predicted: the quarter ended with a net loss of $ 13.7 million. 3D Systems' total revenue grew, but the “organic sales” indicator, adjusted for exchange rates and not including income from acquisitions, decreased by 5%. In the same period last year, the company made a profit of $ 2.1 million. Such results are explained by the fact that many consumers are waiting for the release of new models of 3D printers and do not buy devices that are sold now.

    Quarterly loss of Stratasys competing with 3D Systemsamounted to $ 22.9 million. In the same quarter of last year, it did not exceed $ 173 thousand. Sales of printers and supplies for them decreased by 13%.

    In 2014, 3D Systems and Stratasys accounted for more than a third of all sales in the 3D printer segment. Over the past three years, annual industry sales growth has exceeded 30%. Therefore, market participants willingly bought up the assets of companies. However, at such a pace of model production, manufacturers were not able to fully solve problems with the quality and reliability of products.

    Now on the market there are many models of 3D printers available at around $ 5 thousand. Home model sales account for less than 10% of Stratasys total sales. “We still do not see growth in the consumer segment of this market. These devices are difficult to use, and very often printers bought for a home simply gather dust without any benefit, ”says Terry Wollers, an analyst with the 3D printer market.

    “The period when early enthusiasts bought 3D printers out of a desire to get involved in innovation is over. Now, mainstream representatives should become the main buyers, and they do not want to invest in a printer that is 20 times inferior in performance to future models. And they prefer to wait, ”says Brian Drab, an analyst at William Blair & Co. “The industry is going through a slowdown phase, with users digesting their recent investment in 3D printing,” said Stratasys CEO David Reis.

    So far, 3D printers have occupied only a small niche - with their help, mainly engineering models or small batches of complex parts, dental instruments and so on are manufactured. They do not yet provide a complete replacement for metal-cutting machines and equipment for plastic injection.

    “We are unhappy with our current results. So far, we have not been able to fully establish large-format metal printing. But we are moving fast in the right direction, ”said Avi Reichental, CEO.

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