3D Printing Industry Will Reach $3 Billion by 2018 – Report
How big is 3D printing going to be? Huge, according to Global Industry Analysts (GIA). $3 billion by 2018 to be precise. This is lower than the figure reported by Forbes in March: $3.1 billion by 2016 and $5.2 billion by 2020. But nevertheless, this shows incredible growth for a revolutionary industry.
GIA, a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research, has published a comprehensive global report on the 3D printing market.
The global market for 3D Printing is projected to reach US$2.99 billion by the year 2018, driven by the advent of newer technologies, approaches, and applications. Expanding use of the technology in manufacturing final products, declining cost of printers, and increasing use of 3D printing technology in newer areas bodes well for market growth.
Hailed as a transformative manufacturing technology, 3D printing involves fabrication of physical objects by depositing a material using a nozzle, print head, or any another printer technology. Though initially used for prototyping of products, 3D printing has evolved and is currently capable of customized short-run manufacturing of industrial products, dental implants, and medical devices. 3D printing is finding use in a diverse range of applications across varied markets. Though used initially for rapid prototyping purposes, technological advancements are increasingly facilitating the use of 3D printers for manufacturing final products. The technology has now reached a stage where digital models can be replicated to produce physical components or prototypes, which would be similar to those of mass produced products. The declining cost of printers has led a wide range of industries ranging from aerospace and automotive to footwear and jewelry to adopt 3D printing technology for manufacturing desired objects. 3D printing technology is thus offering individuals as well as companies with the ability to design as well as manufacture objects at relatively lower costs.
In the coming years, 3D printing technology would evolve to enable printing of metals including precious metals such as silver and gold. Further, low cost techniques are expected to be developed for enabling 3D printing of widely available materials such as paper and plastic. Another area of growth is the medical sector wherein 3D printing technology could be used for developing replacement parts. Potential also exists for companies to penetrate into educational and medical device sectors.
As stated by the new market research report on 3D Printing, the United States represents the single largest market for 3D Printing. Several companies in developed nations do not actually manufacture products in entirety in their home ground anymore, and have moved manufacturing activity to low-cost destinations, primarily in developing economies. However, the potential for local manufacturing on demand end-products with the aid of 3D printing is significantly enhanced, as it eliminates the need for physical shipping from far-off regions. As 3D technology matures, mass production within developed nations could be cheaper than manufacturing and shipping products from overseas markets. In certain specialized areas where speed and time to market are critical, technologies such as 3D printing will cause manufacturing activity to move back to developed nations from the developing world.
The market for 3D Printing Products is projected to grow manifold in the near future with 3D printer systems becoming more affordable and easy to use. In the short run, the demand for simple and low cost desktop 3D printers with the ability to rapidly produce concept models for prototypes is expected to witness strong growth. Technological advancements would facilitate development of 3D Printers that are less bulky, easy to fabricate and capable of serving almost unlimited number of purposes. An increasing number of freelance professional designers and hobbyists are using 3D printers for creating new designs and producing physical models, which is partly attributed to the high cost of alternate technologies.
3D Printing is a nascent industry well poised for robust growth driven by rising user adoption. The industry is highly competitive, with competition primarily stemming from new product development, process know-how, pricing, and the ability to provide comprehensive solutions to meet customers’ needs. Major players profiled in the report include 3D Systems Corporation, Bits from Bytes, envisionTEC GmbH, EOS GmbH, Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P, MakerBot® Industries LLC, Objet Ltd., Stratasys Inc., among others.
3 billion photo by nagillum used under Creative Commons license