This article discusses about the 3D printing bubble and further argues that 3D printing will take time to become more common and useful. I agree with the article in that there was a hype and I too was engulfed in the optimism. Luckily, I made money with Stratasys (SSYS), one of the largest 3D printer companies, before everything crashed down (I sold my stock early).
However, I do not think 3D printing is a simple fad. In LA, I actually see and hear more about 3D printers. On YouTube, you see people making cool and useful stuff with 3D printers. In China, 3D printing was used to build a house. In fact, I believe that now is the phase that 3D printers will become more mainstream. Like the internet bubble and the shale bubble that burst, 3D printing burned gloriously. But its ashes have provided a fertile ground for 3D printing through lower cost. Hence, I expect 3D printing to grow further. If you want to take advantage of this wave, I suggest investing in 3D companies such as SSYS, DDD, or through a 3D printing ETF such as this one (PLEASE DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE).
Of course, there are still many issues of technical skills needed to operate the 3D printer and the lower quality of the product compared to traditional machines. However, I am confident that entrepreneurs are already working on these issues.
I look forward to buying my own 3D printer when it becomes more cheaper and useful to me.