Exploring 3D printing using BuzzTalk as a discovery engine

BuzzTalk has been ultimately developed to understand the world as we know it. To answer the who?, what? where? and when? questions concerning any topic you can think of. With BuzzTalk you can for instance monitor trends and emerging technologies.
Today we’ll demonstrate how you can use BuzzTalk to get up to speed on unfamiliair technologies. One of the hottest tech-topics nowadays is 3D printing which we’ll dive into now.
Let’s look at the latest 4137 online publications – too much to read them all – in the English language and analyze these using BuzzTalk. In this demo we’ve left out Twitter. The next graph shows the amount of buzz per week and the sentiment.

buzz about 3d printing
As you can see the amount of buzz is growing. 85% Of the publications are positive though, which is high. We see this a lot in new technologies, such as for cloud computing (89%) or big data (92%). There are only a few incidences of negative sentiment (2%).

What’s happening in the world of 3D print?

Let’s begin by looking at the ‘BuzzEvents’ as these always give a clear characterization of the topic being analyzed. The main event is ‘Product Release’ which is not too surprising. We see the same dominance of this category in topics such as cloud computing or innovative companies such as Apple, but not for notary offices for example. Other BuzzEvents detected are, in descending order, Partnerships, Sanctions, Employment Change, Visits & Talks, Merger & Acquisition, Robbery and Murder.

buzzevents 3d printing

By drilling down into each BuzzEvent you’ll get to explore the world of 3D print category by category. Let’s list a few highlights from the main BuzzEvents:

Product Releases

  • Launch of the Buccaneer, world’s most affordable 3D printer for the masses on May 30th. With a list price of 347 US dollars only, this 3D printer is designed to democratize innovation and creativity.
  • Launch of the 3D Printer Kit by Cooking Hacks, the open hardware division of Libelium. Using this kit anyone can build their printer in just one day.
  • Launch of a digital design library by Forme to provide 3D modellers with easy affordable access to a range of ready-to-use 3D models.


  • LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 and SparkTruck have teamed up to create the ultimate maker mobile that will tour this summer to invigorate the maker spirit of children across the country. With tools like LEGO MINDSTORMS and 3D printing and initiatives like SparkTruck, kids can actually co-design and produce toys and various extensions alongside traditional manufacturers.
  • Stratasys, Ltd., a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems for prototyping and manufacturing, is collaborating with Scheu Dental GmbH for offering orthodontic labs a complete digital solution.
  • Solidoodle sponsored the official ‘Inside 3D Printing’ after party. Inside 3D Printing is the first U.S. event to delve into the present and future of the business impact of 3D printing.


This category is all about the 3D printed gun that was all over the news. The banned 3D printing gun files are still available online since once you put something on the internet, it forever stays there.

Looking at 3D printing from the viewpoints of different media influencers

Using BuzzTalk you can easily analyze a topic from different viewpoints presented by different types of media. The main influencer category in all 3D print related publications comprises of technology related media such as Virtual-Strategy Magazine, Mashable! And Engadget, that are feeding into the hype of endless possibilities. Many have high expectations, talk about paradigm shifts and the biggest revolution since the internet.

mediainfluencers 3d printing

Business related media cover different subjects more analytically and look at drawbacks, intellectual property rights, opportunities (reduction of waste and shipping costs since you can print objects where they are needed) and forecasts. 3D printing is also discussed in politics-related media, arts-related media (customized one-of-a-kind jewelry, the possibilities of designs that would take months of hard work to create in any other way than 3D print) and medical-related media (dental models, hip replacements and the wonderful story of a life saved by a 3D printed trachea).

Top 3 industry sectors with the most hyped 3D print news

  1. Weapons and gun manufacturing industry (3D printed gun).
  2. Food industry (grant by NASA to develop 3D printed food to aid space travel and world hunger issues).
  3. Medical industry (3D printed trachea helps young boy breathing).

Looking into the most prominent tag occurences

Top 12 discussed companies involved in 3D printing

  1. 3D Systems Corporation
  2. MakerBot
  3. Microsoft Corporation
  4. Defense Distributed
  5. Intel Corporation
  6. International Business Machines Corporation
  7. Apple Inc.
  8. Stratasys Inc.
  9. Autodesk Inc.
  10. Nokia Oyj
  11. Ford Motor Company
  12. Shapeways B.V.

Top 3 mentioned persons in 3D print

3d printed sugar by thesugarlab6The most mentioned person by far for the last 36 weeks is Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, who fired off the first 3D gun. Defense Distributed is a non-profit group that promotes the open-source development of firearms using 3D printers. Not too surprising this person has the highest percentage publications labeled as negative sentiment.

Second is Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot and an expert in all things innovative.

Third is Barack Obama who believes 3D printing can play an important role in manufacturing, science, defence, the energy sector and NASA.

These are just some of the views in BuzzTalk and there is much more to explore. Each graphical representation, too many to cover in one blogpost, triggers you into drilling down to find the detail behind it.

You can use BuzzTalk to explore new territories, monitor your own industry, monitor your brand and benchmark against competitors, find influencers and much more.

Photo’s courtesy of The Sugar Lab

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