Is 3D printing over-hyped?

3D printing is at the peak of Gartner’s Hype Cycle.

Every year Gartner, a leading technology analyst firm, publishes what they call the “Hype Cycle” graph of emerging technologies. It is based on a theory that new technology goes through five stages after introduction to the market as hype creates unrealistic expectations which eventually collapse. Only afterwards is the true value of the technology utilized.

3D printing is right at the top of Gartner’s Hype Cycle on the Peak of Inflated Expectations. If the theory holds, we can expect these expectations to come crashing down in the next couple years. This does not imply that 3D printing is a useless technology, it just means that expectations are unrealistic. What do you think? Is 3D printing over-hyped?

Via Fabbaloo

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Matthew Crenshaw

I don’t think 3d printing is over hyped. Having a class full of kids design cool looking parts and then making their parts without having to pay a machinist to get them done is pretty sweet. If you design the parts right they can be functional as well as inspirational so I’m not sure how making it this easy to move objects from digital to physical could be over hyped.

I believe the expectations are unrealistic at this point. It seems to me that while the ‘personal factory movement’ may be admirable it is also a number of years premature before it will be a viable economic player in the manufacturing industry.

3D Printing is not over-hyped, but it needs to be integrated with cheaper techniques, and rods, bars, etc. cheaper, featureless, but useful pieces, already there.

Casey Van Tieghem

I don’t think 3D printing has reached its peak of hype yet. Where we are at now is we can only make models for the most part. Wait intil you can make 3D objects that are strong enough to be useful, and wait until you can print a little faster with 3D. Then there might be more hype than necessary. What I’m saying is yeah I agree it might be over hyped, but I think it’s not as over hyped as this chart shows, and it’s not peaked yet.

Tze-Chien Chu

Price/Technology are not the issue.
The real issue is “Do 3D printing solve problems or Provide Convenience”
Think about the 1st generation interent.
It is slow,hard to use but it did solve communication problem and provide convenience.
People will pay to convenience.
So I think Consumer 3D printing over-hyped. (But the industrial 3d printing really solve problems, that is another case).

Travis Lerol

According to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines….no.

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