Local startup courts retailers - and readers - at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

John Hauer: We're in a red hot industry

CINCINNATI - John Hauer is working the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week from two angles.

The chief marketing officer of 3DLT, a 3D printing company, is courting retail partners for his company and covering the show as a blogger.

“I feel like a big kid, going to the world’s biggest candy store,” Hauer wrote in his first blog post . You can find his coverage at 3DLT.com , techfaster.com and 3D4printers.com .

“It’s my goal to share a unique perspective on not only how the market for 3D printing is progressing, but also the breadth and depth of impact it will have on everyday consumer products.”

In addition to 3DLT, other Cincinnati companies attending the electronics show include Procter & Gamble, which is promoting its Duracell Powermat product , and TREWGrip LLC , a computer keyboard maker that WCPO featured in July.

The Cincinnati startup was conceived as a printing template marketplace, where freelance designers could offer three-dimensional images that high-tech “printers” would convert to household products like jewelry, toys, cell phone cases and furniture.

But the rapidly shifting industry has caused 3DLT to alter its focus. Now, it’s talking to retailers about rolling out its services at thousands of retail locations or online. Imagine popping into a Kroger store and printing out a cell phone case or ordering jewelry at Macys.com.

Walmart has signaled a strong interest in the 3D printing industry, which some analysts project to be an $8 billion business by 2020.

Hauer won’t say what retailers 3DLT is talking to, only that it’s signed non-disclosure agreements with several and he wouldn’t be surprised if the company is able to make handshake deals that turn into contracts in Las Vegas this week.

“We can do an exclusive contract, they can invest or they can acquire us,” Hauer said. “It all depends on how much of the pie we get to hang onto.”

Hauer estimates 3DLT is worth $4 million at present. It’s in the process of raising several hundred thousand dollars from investors and it’s expecting an exit, meaning the company will be sold, in the next few years.

“We’re in a red hot industry,” he said.

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