I’ve watched all our 2015 International CES videos countless times; created custom thumbnails, written blurbs, embedded them onto this here site, social media-ed the heck out of them and so on and so forth…
Without a shadow of a doubt the one I keep coming back to for quotes and for a more understanding opinion on the overall state of the 3D printing industry is that of Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen.
Fried, in his interview, isn’t trying to sell me a product he is giving a considered influential opinion on the market; when Fried says that 80% of orthotics could be 3D printed that’s not a figure plucked from nowhere that is the figure of a man whose company created over 130,000 medical devices in 2013 alone, a man who has been doing it some 25 years.
There’s good reason Fried was voted TCT’s most influential person in the industry in 2012, there’s good reason why Fried was our afternoon keynote at the TCT 3D Printing Conference at CES and there’s good reason that in a recent pole Mr Vancraen came above the Pope and Vladimir Putin in a poll for personality of the year in Belgian newspaper De Tijd.
Though not in this video (it will be in his conference video coming soon), my favourite quote from CES this year was "I see a lot of items that look like 3D printed lamps but they're not lamps, they're illuminated objects." In this cutting barb Fried was merely pointing out that there is a lot of 3D printing for 3D printing's sake, which, in turn, makes it a gimmick when in fact there is no need if you work with designers to create objects for 3D printing you can make better lamps.
If you want somebody to cut through the hype and tell you the cold hard facts about the industry as it stands – whether that is at a consumer level or an industry level – Fried is your man. Watch, listen and learn.