[The video is by Materialise, whose Joris Debo presented at the conference.]
I was lucky enough to be invited to the first Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo in New York on April 22 and 23. According to organizers, it was attended by over 3000 people from 35 different countries. Below you’ll find a roundup of the best coverage of the conference. But first my quick wrapup.
3D printing is hot and Wall Street is paying attention. Being a university web developer, I’ve never been to a conference attended by so many investors. It seemed to me that at least a quarter of the people packed into sessions and craning their necks to see printers in the exhibition hall were from the financial sector. In fact, I shared a cab across town the first morning with a young venture capitalist I met at the bus stop outside Penn Station. We were both running late and he was worried: he had been sent to attend the opening keynote. He was then to rush back and report to the-powers-that-be. Happily, we both made it in time for the keynote (and I generously allowed him to pay for the cab as a business expense). However, I hope he stayed for at least a few sessions because there was so much to learn.
In one of the first sessions, Phil Reeves addressed the question of where in the 3D streamline to invest. Do you invest in the company that makes the 3D printer? In the designer of the part? In the service that puts the designer together with the company that does the printing? Or farther upstream, in the company that ultimately uses the part?
All of the 3D printer manufacturers in the exhibition hall were obviously working hard to convince investors of the first choice. But it’s interesting to note that two companies doing all of the first three — 3D Systems and Shapeways — have enjoyed incredibly high earnings and investment growth.