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3D printing is a transformative technology used in the manufacture of a wide range of tools, parts, and appliances through the simple use of a digital model. Creating prototypes of new products represents the major commercial application of 3D printing, while direct digital manufacturing using the technique is limited to short production runs in few industry verticals. Market outlook in the 3D printing market is bullish with technology advances expected to drive market growth. Expanding application areas and funding support from government agencies are also expected to spur demand for 3D printing systems and services.
Rising use of 3D models, ability to create customized products and declining cost of 3D printing systems and materials are encouraging the adoption of 3D printing as a replacement for conventional prototyping and manufacturing processes in consumer and professional markets. Going forwards, the market would witness the glut of smaller and cheaper models, transforming 3D Printing machines into a household appliance. Apparent change is also likely in materials usage to create complex end results and giving rise to possibility of 4D printing. Growth in the market for 3D Printing Services is forecast to be driven by the rising demand for online 3D printing-as-a-services, owing to the spurt in demand for consumer 3D printer systems.
3D printing, in the short-term, is expected to be primarily used for rapid prototyping, and for direct manufacture of extremely complex and highly customized low-volume products. With increase in printing speed, elimination of restrictions on object size, and favorable manufacturing economics, the balance is likely to tilt in favor of 3D printing technology. Consumer products, automotive, medical, aerospace, and machines are among the major end-use markets for 3D printing products and services. One of the most significant applications of 3D printing is in the field of healthcare, with 3D printers being used to manufacture custom-fit hearing aid devices; dental and orthopedic implants such as crowns, caps, and bridges; prosthetic limbs; and personalized hip replacements, as per individual specifications. The technology is also deployed for developing precise models that enable surgeons to plan complex surgical procedures.
United States represents the single largest market worldwide with growth driven largely by the availability of low-cost printers and increased adoption among hobbyists and entrepreneurs. While developed regions such as the US and Europe have been at the forefront for developing and adopting 3D printing technologies, the volatile economic environment in the past few years has turned the focus onto emerging markets including China and India. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing regional market for 3D printing products with a projected CAGR of 18% over the analysis period. Major players profiled include 3D Systems Corporation, Arcam AB, envisionTEC GmbH, EOS GmbH, The ExOne Company, Stratasys Ltd., MakerBot® Industries, and Solidscape, Inc., among others.
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