3D Printing Materials Will Grow to $615M Thanks to Proprietary Pricing

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Industry Report Forecasts Anti-Competitive Proprietary Pricing of 3D Printing Materials

Do you think you pay a lot for your inkjet cartridge refills? Well, 3D printing materials are following suit in premium pricing.

Research firm IDTechEx has published its forecast for the 3D printing materials market to reach $615 million by 2025.

In its new report entitled “3D Printing Materials 2014-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts“, the firm provides analysis on pricing, competition, and scope of 3D printable materials.  The report provides detailed market forecasts by value and mass, broken down by material types (inkjet material, metal powder, powder thermoplastic, solid thermoplastic and photopolymers).

Objet Multi-Materials 3D Printed Car

Much of the growth in the materials market is projected to come from premium pricing. “Should a fully competitive market environment emerge then we forecast that the market value in 2025 will only be $244 million,” the firm stated.

Premium pricing is being maintained by some 3D printer manufacturers by the practice of locking end-users into their own materials supplies through key coding and RFID tagging under the guise of “quality control”. This anti-competitive behavior is preventing the development of an efficient, competitive market for 3D printing materials and is presenting very high barriers to entry for new suppliers, and perhaps hindering the development of new materials for 3D printing.

Related: Video interview with 3D Systems CEO discussing the future of 3D printing materials

Achieving the desired mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties of a 3D printed object is a complex interplay between process parameters and feedstock material properties for any 3D printing technology. End-users want to 3D print with the materials they are used to and want the final properties to match those possible with traditional manufacturing methods such as injection moulding. However this is no easy task.

The report details forecasts from 2013 to 2025 in the context of realistic adjustments to both prices and the breakdown of the installed base by technology type.

For more details see “3D Printing Materials 2014-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts” (www.IDTechEx.com/3Dmats).

IDTechEx will be hosting 3D Printing LIVE, a business-focused conference and masterclass on the topic, in November.


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