3D Printing at Top of “Hype Cycle”, Gartner Reports

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3D Printing Gartner Hype Cycle

Leading research firm Gartner published its annual “Hype Cycle” report. 3D printing was among the technologies at the peak of the hype cycle.

Big data, 3D printing, activity streams, Internet TV, Near Field Communication (NFC) payment, cloud computing and media tablets are some of the fastest-moving technologies identified in Gartner Inc.’s 2012 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

Gartner analysts said that these technologies have moved noticeably along the Hype Cycle since 2011, while consumerization is now expected to reach the Plateau of Productivity in two to five years, down from five to 10 years in 2011. Bring your own device (BYOD), 3D printing and social analytics are some of the technologies identified at the Peak of Inflated Expectations in this year’s Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle.

The Hype Cycle has a predictable path for technologies.

The Hype Cycle graphic has been used by Gartner since 1995 to highlight the common pattern of overenthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism that accompanies each new technology and innovation. The Hype Cycle Special Report is updated annually to track technologies along this cycle and provide guidance on when and where organizations should adopt them for maximum impact and value.

This year’s theme was tipping points.

We are at an interesting moment, a time when many of the scenarios we’ve been talking about for a long time are almost becoming reality,” said Hung LeHong, research vice president at Gartner. “The smarter smartphone is a case in point. It’s now possible to look at a smartphone and unlock it via facial recognition, and then talk to it to ask it to find the nearest bank ATM. However, at the same time, we see that the technology is not quite there yet. We might have to remove our glasses for the facial recognition to work, our smartphones don’t always understand us when we speak, and the location-sensing technology sometimes has trouble finding us.”

Read more at Gartner.

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7 Responses to 3D Printing at Top of “Hype Cycle”, Gartner Reports

  1. [...] This controversy will only grow as 3D printing progresses along the Hype Cycle. [...]

  2. [...] 3D Printing at Top of “Hype Cycle”, Gartner Reports [...]

  3. [...] the open-source movement push 3D printing from the peak of the hype cycle to more mainstream adoption? This would enable consumers to get their hands on cheaper 3D printers [...]

  4. [...] S&P 500, and NASAQ indices. Even though 3D printing is currently at the top of the “hype cycle“, it looks like investors are being rewarded for their early support of the [...]

  5. [...] I recently came across a nice compendium of WebGL enabled 3D printing applications on the Developing Dream blog. One of the early WebGL supporters for 3D printing that stands out is My Robot Nation, acquired by 3D Systems, as has Cubify, (recall that I used a photo of the WebGL 3D “print” I made at Cubify as the first image in part 1 of this series) been acquired by 3D Systems. And while it’s undeniable that WebGL holds great promise for 3D printing technology, 3D printing is not without its detractors, as evidenced by being at the top of the 2012 Gartner hype cycle, where 3D printing is one of the technologies identified as being at the Peak of Inflated Expectations in this year’s Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle. [...]

  6. Chris Norman says:

    This Hype Cycle applies to technologies that are not a fundamental shift technology. In other words, trends such as popular clothing follow these curves. Life altering changes do not follow hype cycles, they follow an adoption curve that does not fall off. In other words, the back side of the hype cycle is for those things that were a fad and did not live up to their promise such as VRML.

    3D Printing, or as it is referred to in the engineering vernacular additive fabrication or Direct Digital Manufacturing is a fundamental shift technology not unlike cell phones or microwave ovens or plasma/lcd TV technologies. Cell phone use exploded and continues to grow.

    3D Printing will grow beyond the hype cycle as the technology matures, prices fall and adoption ramps up. No different than the personal computer, the internet, home printing or cell phones. It will evolve and I firmly believe that it will change the way many products are made and distributed to consumers.

    As the technology matures, more and more industries will be impacted by the 3D printing in ways most of us cannot fathom. For example: I recently witnessed an ultrasonic metal ribbon printer that used sound to fuse thin sheets of aluminum together and then CNC cut the layer and repeat. Much fast than anything I have seen. Wasteful yes. Practical…who knows but the fact is that people are inventive and the technology will continue to evolve.

    Kraftwurx is a sliver of the emerging companies figuring out how to make money around 3D printing. We’re excited to be a part of the trend and as a manufacturing industry veteran, I hope that I have chosen a path that will be as successful as I believe it will be.

    Chris Norman, CEO

  7. Chris Norman says:

    I also want to comment that media hype drives more media hype. Its a self fulfilling prophecy to hype a technology. Its what happens when you give something over to the media and press.

    For example: The hype surrounding 3D printing of guns is preposterous. The media has embraced the idea that reliable weapons can just be printed and that its as easy as making a xerox copy. Reality check! it’s not.

    But let’s also look at reality. The back of Popular Science magazine has an ad ever month for a small table-top CNC lathe and or mill that costs just $8,999 USD. It has a list of example parts you can make with it in the sales literature. Several of them are guns and or gun parts.

    This ad has run for about 20 years that I can recall since I started reading Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines.

    Let’s analyze this: For 20 years, a small machining center has been available for anyone to use, to make anything you want, INCLUDING GUNS!

    3D Printers show up that can print plastic parts, in he shape of metal parts that are not as strong but the machines they were made on cost $200,000 ++++ and suddenly everyone is worried. Why? The media!

    Stop scaring people and start showing them the good benefits of the technology and what it can do for us.

    Chris Norman, CEO


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