The Rathenau Institute and Vakmedianet published a book on new strategies for innovating in a digitalizing world. Nanning de Jong analyzed the upcoming 3D printing platforms in this book.
Several companies in the manufacturing industry are building integrated 3D printing platforms by mergers and by bringing new products to the market. 3D Printing becomes rapidly mature and changes the manufacturing process. The entire process from design and development to production and distribution gets digitalized. With possibly disruptive consequences: new earnings models, new power distributions and a new logic for innovating. The Netherlands has several manufacturers of 3D printers for home use, a lively network of FabLabs and a trend setter as Shapeways that grows rapidly in the USA. Meanwhile, several dynamics can be observed in the market. American players like 3D Systems and Stratasys are acquiring (Dutch) companies and become suppliers of integrated 3D printing solutions for major industries and home users. Their business comes from the sale of 3D printers, the materials and 3D printed end products. The Dutch AddLab bundles companies from the manufacturing industry to develop 3D printing capabilities together. What do these developments mean for the future of 3D printing in The Netherlands? What companies are already taking strategic positions, are seeking dominance or try to monopolize designs? What changes in the innovation dynamics?