3D free niche

According to research firm Research Techart, last year the volume of the 3D printing market was $ 2.4 billion. At the same time, analysts from another consulting company, Gartner, estimated that in 2013 about 57 thousand 3D printers were sold worth up to 100 thousand dollars, which is 49% more than a year earlier. As for the Russian market, there are still modest indicators: sales corresponded to only 0.45% of the world total.

In Krasnodar today there are 5-6 companies involved in 3D printing. All of them are quite young, some are not even a year old. The most "old" company - Plastic3dprint - two. Its owner purchased his 3D printer at the time when they only began to appear on the Russian market.
“I was driven by personal curiosity and craving for technical innovations,” recalls Andrei Novoseltsev. “I bought a printer for personal pleasure, and I just advertise about 3D printing services.” Novoseltsev acquired his American-made printer for 100 thousand rubles; today, this model costs three times less. According to the head of Plastic3dprint, the device paid off for about a year. “I was the first in the city, and many simply did not know about this technology. Therefore, the payback period was so long, - explains Andrei Novoseltsev. “In general, 3D printing is an unprofitable business and will remain so for a few more years.”

Now in Krasnodar, the average cost of plastic 3D printing ranges from 15 to 35 rubles 1 cu. see price depends on the volume and complexity of the work.
The company 3dprint has four printers - one made in China, two domestic and one Dutch. According to the head of the company, such a business can now produce a good profit.
“We were looking for additional niches in which there is little or no competition. Initially engaged in home CNC milling machines, and then came across 3D printers. After analyzing the market, we realized that in the Southern Federal District this direction practically does not develop, ”says Alexander Vasilyev. During the six months of work 3dprint fully paid for the equipment, completing about 500 orders.

Mr. Vasiliev believes that in order for this business to be profitable, you must have at least four 3D printers.
“One device to keep unprofitable. The sphere is young, so manufacturers still have a lot of flaws. Everyone has their own weak points, and printer breakdowns happen quite often, - said a 3dprint representative. - Therefore, in case the device fails or its supplies run out, you must have a backup. In addition, different printers work with different types of plastic. ”

Additional profits come from modeling services. Creating a model will cost about 1.5 thousand rubles, and its refinement will cost 500. And if Plastic3dprint works only with ready-made models and is not engaged in creating them, 3dprint prefers to have its own modeling specialists on staff.
“A person who comes to make a blank is unlikely to want to go elsewhere in order to make a 3D model,” said Alexander Vasilyev. “Therefore, you must have a designer who can draw gears, bushings, and an artist who will create, for example, souvenirs. ”
According to market participants, 3D-printing services are used by completely different customers: from individuals to architectural and engineering institutes.

“Individuals usually order home appliance parts, car parts,” said a 3dprint representative. “If these are design organizations or manufacturers, then any case products are more often printed here.”
But not only the sale of devices and the manufacture of parts is represented today by the market of 3D printing. This technology is no less interesting for the field of education. Thus, the Base Station of 3D-printing recently opened in Krasnodar, according to its leaders, was created as a creative laboratory in which the gifted youth of the city and the region could "pile up, cook and create."

“For the first time, I learned about budget desktop 3D-printers by chance, from the film“ The Spirit of Time - 3 ”. It told about RepRap printers capable of reproducing some of their own parts, ”recalls Artyom Sobolev. “What I saw shocked me to the depths of my soul and radically changed my view of the current, stalled production process.”
Together with his friend Oleg Vartanov Artem Sobolev decided on the basis of the Krasnodar Youth Center to launch educational courses on 3D printing and 3D modeling - to read several lectures on the history, technologies of 3D printing and modern developments in this area.

“The course participants will learn about different 3D modeling packages and learn how to model in the Blender environment,” explains Artyom Sobolev. “And at the end of each lesson, the drawn models will be printed.”
Full course is designed for three months. As a result, each student will have to complete the project of one of the buildings of the “city of the future”. According to the head of the laboratory, the first course is a pilot one, and the organizers do not take money for it. “We want to express ourselves, to attract as much attention as possible to the subject of 3D printing,” says Mr. Sobolev. “In the future, of course, we plan to introduce tuition fees.” Already, the creators of the 3D Printing Station have several options on how to monetize your project. First, simply introduce a fixed fee, and second, make a lightweight course with a fee only for printouts, and third, cooperate with manufacturers and suppliers of 3D printers.
“In addition, if charitable assistance appears, we will be ready to conduct free courses for children with small investments in new equipment,” notes Artyom Sobolev.

Now the station has two printers: Up PLUS and RepRap MendelMAX. Another one - building - laboratory specialists construct themselves. “I’ve been doing 3D printing technology for a year and a half. And the design of the printer is a small part of it, - says Oleg Vartanov. “At the first stage, it is planned to provide printing services for individual architectural forms and the construction of unique cottages.”

In total, the purchase of the necessary equipment for the courses took 6 thousand rubles, another 25 thousand were spent on consumables. The station manager believes that the costs will pay off within a few months. The plans of the creators of the creative laboratory are to bring it to the level of a serious center, not only producing materials for printing and the products themselves, but also preparing new personnel: designers, architects and designers.

“It is planned to scale the Station around the city. Each station in the network will be equipped with a production workshop, an exhibition hall and lecture halls, ”explains Artyom Sobolev. The creators of the Base Station 3D-printing technology predicts a great future. They believe that soon 3D-printers will appear in every home. “It will be possible to turn from a consumer into a creator,” says Sobolev. “And the fact that you can get a real object from a virtual drawing in a few hours cannot leave anyone indifferent.”

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