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From Quantum to Edible – Gartner’s Cool Vendors in 3D Printing, 2017

by Pete Basiliere  |  June 30, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

Additive manufacturing is rapidly expanding. Startup vendors are bringing new technologies and services to market just as organizations are implementing 3D printing throughout their supply chains.

The enterprise 3D printing market continues to be invigorated by many new entrants across technologies and geographies. The offerings of Gartner’s four Cool Vendors in 3D Printing, 2017 typify the 3D print market’s vitality: A major hardware technology advance, anticounterfeiting software to protect your intellectual property, testing of the viability of 3D-printable materials for your use and 3D print personalization — including candy.

Quantum Materials

San Marcos, Texas (

Quantum Materials has developed a solution to the problem of counterfeit 3D-printed parts: light-emitting quantum dots that are embedded in the plastic resins used in material extrusion and stereolithography processes. The covert integration of the quantum dots within additively manufactured items enables a robust level of unique product identification that is nearly impossible to counterfeit.

Example of a Quantum Dots Microscopic Multicolor Anticounterfeit Tag

QMC QD 3D Printing Gartner









Source: Quantum Materials

Quantum dots have a unique physical signature that is customized to the object’s manufacturer and its trusted partners, and this can help in the governance of 3D-printed products. This protection is made possible through the addition of a unique part identifier during the 3D printing process, with scalable tracking and authentication, and potentially with open-source software and widely available hardware, across multiple applications.


Woburn, Massachusetts (

Rize’s exclusive combination of material extrusion and jetting technology has resulted in the Rize One, an enterprise-class 3D printer that produces robust parts. The $26,000 Rize One employs a patented combination of polymer extrusion and fluid jetting, called Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD), to produce thermoplastic parts that exhibit mechanical strength with nearly the same values along the z (vertical) axis as they do along the x- and y-axes.

Rize 3D-Printed Gripper for a Robot Arm

©2016 Jon Chomitz Photography 3 Prescott street, Somerville, MA 02143 617.625.6789

Source: Rize

The Rize One’s output is well-suited to rapid and iterative functional prototyping, as well as making tools, jigs and fixtures for use in manufacturing. Parts could be used to make finished goods and medical devices when the item’s size and performance requirements are within the Rize One’s capabilities.


New York, New York (

Senvol is cool because its embedded knowledge of additive manufacturing gives designers and engineers unprecedented choices to design parts that can deliver much more value to customers at a lower cost. Senvol is already becoming the most authoritative source of the behavior of materials. Figure 3 summarizes the types of printers and materials that Senvol’s technology supports.

3D Printers and Materials Categorized in the Senvol Database


Senvol Graphs v2Source: Senvol

Besides accelerating the use of 3D-printed parts that are needed to perform reliably in many operating environments — including very demanding ones where parts must perform under conditions such as high mechanical loads and high temperatures — Senvol’s technology is a catalyst to the adoption of automated part design through topology optimization techniques. These techniques automatically find the most efficient shapes for 3D-printed parts based on performance demands.


Montevideo, Uruguay (

Sur3D enables brands and retailers to offer custom product creation to consumers. It does so by bridging the gap between the client’s idea and digital manufacturing methods.

Winner of the Digital Trends Latin Innovation award at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sur3D focuses on 3D modeling and printing file creation software. Its Selva 3D B2C platform enables users to transform 2D images into print-ready 3D models that can be made on their own devices or uploaded for printing by a service bureau such as Shapeways.

Sur3D plans to offer an enhanced version of its Selva 3D software to retailers, to enable their customers to create unique designs in a few simple steps and deliver ready-to-print files to retailers for manufacturing. Sur3D has also used its expertise in developing 3D printing workflow software to create custom software for the food industry.

Together with Katjes, a multinational confectionary company, it enables consumers to design a food item, which is then 3D-printed in gummy candy. Although contract restrictions mean that Sur3D cannot sell the software to other confectionary makers, it is free to sell it in other markets.

Our complete research reports are here: Cool Vendors in 3D Printing, 2017 and here Cool Vendors in Spanish-speaking Latin America, 2017

NOTE: This research does not constitute an exhaustive list of vendors in any given technology area, but rather is designed to highlight interesting, new and innovative vendors, products and services. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


Additional Resources

Category: 3d-printing  technology-and-emerging-trends  

Tags: 3-d-print  3d-print  3d-print-service-bureaus  3d-printer  additive-manufacturing  consumer-electronics-show  cool-vendor  hype-cycle  katjes  quantum-materials  rd  rize  rize3d  senvol  sur3d  

Pete Basiliere
Research Vice President
12 years at Gartner
18 years IT Industry

Mr. Basiliere provides research-based insights on 3D printing and digital printing hardware, software and materials. Mr. Basiliere's Maverick research coined the term Generation AI, people born after 2010 who will not know a world without application intelligence in their lives. Read Full Bio

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