Stratasys has announced the tenth anniversary of its Dimension 3D Printer line, the first of its kind to bring 3D printing technology to a broad audience and accelerate the trend of 3D printer use in the market today.
Additive manufacturing industry consultancy, Wohlers Associates, affirms this trend in Wohlers Report 2011, noting "Additive manufacturing's reach was previously relegated to high-tech laboratories at Fortune 100 companies, but it now extends to the smallest of organizations - and increasingly even to individuals. In the...industry's 23-year history, its compound annual growth rate has been 26.2 percent."
When introduced in 2002 at $29,900, the Dimension 3D Printer opened new possibilities for designers as a reliable, compact, simple-to-use machine, at about half the cost of the next lowest-price 3D printer. The Dimension's introduction enabled designers to not only produce models for design verification, but also test functionality because the printer uses the same durable ABS plastic used in today's end products. The system's compact size and networking capabilities also made it ideal for an office environment, enabling product-design teams easier access to model making.
"Dimension laid the foundation for the 3D printing revolution we're seeing today," says Stratasys CEO Scott Crump. "It opened the door to a whole new demographic of users that previously couldn't access additive manufacturing."
Today, Dimension 3D printers represent the majority of Stratasys' installed base: a base that accounts for a 41 percent global market share, and includes other Stratasys brands Fortus and uPrint 3D Printers. Stratasys' 2010 unit sales were more than 3.5 times that of its nearest competitor, and the company has shipped 15,839 systems since its founding, according to Wohlers Report 2011.
All Stratasys 3D printer brands, uPrint, Dimension and Fortus, employ Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology, which was invented and patented by Scott Crump. FDM and Fused Deposition Modeling are trademarks of Stratasys Inc.