What do you see as the value of 3D printing?
I think that in the next 5-10 years 3D printing will change everything. It will change how we print, how we create, how we manufacture, how we design, how we decorate, how we treat a variety of medical conditions, and the value is that with 3D printing there are no limitations in complexity and in the final charge. And what I mean by that is that the printer does not care if it prints the simplest of all geometries or the most complex one. There is no penalty, there is no extra charge for complexity. And the other thing is that there is no penalty and no extra charge for minimum quantity. So whether you want to print in a quantity of one or in a quantity of one million, you can do it. That is really interesting and important for start-ups and small businesses, because all of a sudden, they can begin to access the same technology and the same capabilities that historically were reserved to big companies. And at the same time if you have a computer or Internet or you can access cloud printing, you can begin to present, and design, and sell products with the same capabilities and the same technology, and the same impact that large companies have. That can change everything.
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Ease of use has been considered a major barrier for consumer adoption of 3D printers. 3D Systems has introduced Apps, Cubify Invent, and Cubify Capture. How are these innovations helping to overcome the barriers to adoption?
Let me back up and say that we understand that adoption comes from democratizing access and democratizing access means a few things to us. First, it means we want to be really affordable and we are absolutely committed to continue to make 3D printers for home, classroom, and for the hobby shop, more and more affordable, even below the $1,300 Cube that we sell today. And for the record, let me say that it will soon enough be below $1,000, and in the next couple of years below $500. So we are very committed to that.
The second element of democratization is about reliability and fidelity and printability and the whole plug and play aspect so that people concentrate on what can the printer do for me and how much fun can I have with it as opposed to how will I make it work and will it finish to print. So the Cube, in the last twelve months, won almost every award in the plug and play simplicity and reliability, because it really delivers on the printability and plug and play and it is the only one that is certified for home use.
The third part of democratization of access is simplicity. And here I am talking about the content creation and the apps, like Cubify Capture and Cubify Invent, and other apps that we already have on Cubify.com. Because it is really important to us to remove and to be passionate about removing the expertise or friction that stands between this amazing technology and the ability of millions of people to use it, and that means that we will continue to gamify and simplify and make it fun and intuitive to create 3D content from your smartphone camera, from your Kinect Xbox, from the Leap motion sensor when it comes on the market in May, make it fun, easy, and intuitive, from your iPad and tablet, because we believe that anybody can create and everybody is creative. Once we remove the complexity, people will begin to create.
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