Read these Wikipedia entries:
3D Systems (first commercial "3D printer")
Make sure to check out the Cube "home printer" from 3D Systems.
Read Chris Anderson's WIRED Article on the Makerbot.
See also these websites:
You may be interested to look at some of the commentary in the financial markets on DDD and peers. http://seekingalpha.com/symbol/ddd
This documentary film Print the Legend, available via Netflix, chronicles the history of 3D printing.
Consider the new entrant Form Labs and their prospects, as described in this WIRED article.
Prepare these study questions:
- Has a dominant design emerged in the 3D printing industry?
- How big a market is there for products like Makerbot's Replicator?
- What skills and capabilities will be required to capture a significant share of this potential market?
- Can Makerbot capture the value from this technology? Would you bet on 3D Systems, Makerbot, or some other player to capture the most value from the 3D printing industry? (Since I wrote this question, Makerbot merged with Stratasys, but is apparently being operated somewhat autonomously.)
Enter as text your response to questions 3-4.