I was fortunate yesterday to spend some time with a great crowd at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to talk about 3D Printing — sharing the time with an awesome team of presenters from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Jim Roberts, the Director of the UNCW CIE, a friend of mine since moving to North Carolina, invited me to see his impressive incubator space located at the edge of the UNC Wilmington campus – and I was glad to do so. He has an impressive facility, and some great partner/tenant companies already working hard, I am excited to see what will be “hatched” under Jim’s leadership. While there I also had the chance to meet with some great local entrepreneurs as well as spending some time with the Wired Wizard Robotics Team — and incredibly impressive group of young, talented, future scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians. They were planning how to integrate 3D printing into their next design, I came away again believing how much STEM and the entire “capture to make” ecosystem should be intertwined.
One of the things I talked about yesterday was the interesting correlation between the performance of the publicly traded 3D printing companies and the relative rise of “3D Printing” as opposed to the technical term of “additive manufacturing”. The upper left inserted graph is a Google Trends chart showing those search terms over time — if you haven’t used Google Trends — this data is normalized relative to all search volume over time. In other words, a flat line would show that as a % of overall search, that term has stayed consistent (even as volume grows). What you can see from this graph is the explosion of the rise of “3D Printing” as opposed to small, incremental growth of “additive manufacturing.” Compare the rise of “3D Printing” to the stock charts and you see an interesting correlation indeed. During the rest of my time I gave some reasons for why I believed this happened — looking at the macro level trends on both “sides” of the content to make ecosystem that may have unlocked this opportunity.
For those who have interest, you can download the slides I delivered here. TMK Presentation for UNCW on 3D Printing Opportunity (1.17.14 – FOR DISTRIBUTION)
Have a great weekend!