Since I know mainly about Epson based printers/Small format printers, maybe this part is not about full cover in the flatbed printing direction.

The world is becoming more and more personalized and all people want something different and unique. And the small format flatbed printers are now coming to our daily life, to run a business with personalization is much easier with these printers.  Therefore,I can predict the flatbed printer printing industry will meet its blooming time before 2016.  And China could lead this industry.

The industry /producers are in the situation below:

The first makers started earlier to modify the Epson printers since 2004 and at that time,the profits was very high even the printers,the consumables(inks,software,etc) were not stable. They did enjoy a good time in terms of profits and marketing. But  that time was a bad time for the buyers, only 10-20% buyers could run the printer but most of the buyers throwed the printers away due to its high-request maintenance  work until to the end of 2012.

Buyers or users are mostly getting support via internet so far and I think this is the only and most possible way. The fact is: If the makers have professional and easy understanding training guidance files or videos,also the supplier provide professional service, the users definitely can work with the products.  As I can see that high percentage of the buyers from Korean or American machines are working with the products.

Few suppliers invested in study and research for the development. Actually the printers should have been better long time ago as the technology was there already. But most of the suppliers did enjoy the high profits only but no breaking eyes on the development. But there is a truth: All the printers are based on Epson original printers and all people believe this is the limit, as Epson never authorize their technical information the makers.