3D Printing Market Overview
The global 3D printing market was valued at $8,583.6 million in 2017 and is forecasted to witness a CAGR of 24.6% during the forecast period. Some of the major factors positively impacting the growth of the market are ease in development of customized products, slashed manufacturing cost and rising government investments in 3D printing projects.
GLOBAL 3D PRINTING MARKET SIZE, BY PRINTER, $M (2013-2023)
Based on components 3D printing market is categorized into printer, material, software and service, where printer held the largest revenue share of over 45% in the 3D printing market in 2017. Metals, polymers and ceramics are some of the key materials used in 3D printing. Of them, metal-based 3D printing was the largest revenue contributor accounting for over 49% of 3D printing materials in 2017.
On the basis of process, 3D printing is categorized into binder jetting, direct energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination and vat photopolymerization. Among these, powder bed fusion process held largest revenue, where it accounted for over 20% market share in 2017. This can be attributed to features such as development of product at low cost while maintaining the quality of the product.
Geographically, North America has been the largest market for 3D printing, where it constituted for over 35% of revenue in 2017. 3D printing is widely being used in aerospace & defense and healthcare industries. The U.S. leads the aerospace and defense market across the globe, which is a major factor supporting the growth of 3D printing market in North America. Additionally, technological advancements and government initiatives in the region are likely to spur the growth of the North American 3D printing market.
3D Printing Market Dynamics
Individualization and personalization of the purchased products have been evolving as a key trend in the 3D printing market. Unlike standard mass production, in which all the products coming out of the mould are same, 3D printing offers the flexibility to customize the product as per consumer’s needs. Customization of designs is especially helpful in industries such as healthcare, and gems and jewellery, where people can have distinguished products through 3D printing.
3D printing offers high speed and better quality, due to which most of the global population tends to shift toward 3D printing from traditional manufacturing. Moreover, 3D printing is more economical than traditional manufacturing, as it allows for the creation of products through additive manufacturing. Most of the companies are actively adopting 3D printing technology to pursue cost savings by reducing overpriced and wasteful inventories. 3D printing offers flexibility to shift physical inventory to virtual inventory, which allows to create on-demand products and helps in improving the supply chain.
Companies operating in this industry are investing highly in R&D to enhance the capabilities of existing printers in number of areas, including materials, printing mechanisms, and integrating additive and conventional techniques of manufacturing. Emerging multi-material capabilities are likely to back the growth of 3D printing market, since most accomplished products are made from more than one material.
The growing ease of developing customized products is a key growth driver for the 3D printing market. 3D printing offers ease of customization as designs are not inhibited by manufacturing complexities, and design complexity no longer enhances cost. This widens design paths and allows the economic production of lighter products, especially to the aerospace and automotive industries. Applications of 3D printing are also evolving in the healthcare industries, as it offers mass customization in developing medical and dental implants at lower cost.
3D printers offer the flexibility to create varied compositions of metal alloys to meet the design specifications of end-product. The design specifications are given as input to the 3D printer and then it follows algorithms to draw on an optimal mix of materials to provide the end product specified in the design. Additionally, it offers the flexibility to manufacture components with desired mechanical properties. Through these benefits, 3D printers will continue to address the demand to curtail waste and cost.
High energy consumption, expensive technology and emission of harmful particles is hindering the growth of 3D printing market. 3D printers consume more energy in comparison to traditional injection molding. Also, the cost of manufacturing is relatively high as economies of scale cannot be achieved with 3D printer because it is slow and the per unit cost also rises when it comes to making large quantities.
Furthermore, when used in a closed environment, desktop 3D printers emit large number of ultrafine particles, which are hazardous to health as these particles may settle in the bloodstream of the user, posing health risk including cancer. These disadvantages are expected to continue hindering the growth of 3D printing market in the coming years.
The aerospace industry offers significant opportunity to the players of 3D printing technologies. The stringent necessities such as precision and accuracy in the designs of airplane parts and lightweight components, are some of the factors predominantly escalating the growth of 3D printing market for the aerospace and defence industry. Apart from efficiency and growth benefits, factors including advancements in printing techniques, increasing use of 3D printing in rapid prototyping, growing availability of improved printing materials, and increasing number of 3D printing service centers are expected to spur the demand of 3D printing during the forecast period.
The expanding 3D printing applications in direct digital manufacturing (DDM) is another major factor for the growth of 3D printing market during the forecast period. DDM is the process that makes required parts directly using CAD or other data, to drive an additive manufacturing. Companies are integrating DDM process into their business processes to eliminate investment in tooling, remove time lag between design and production, and eliminate penalty for redesign. 3D printing technologies enable DDM to accomplish these objectives, which in turn increases the demand of 3D printing.
3D Printing Market Competitive Landscape
The key players in this industry have been focusing on product development to stay competitive. For instance, in March 2017, 3D Systems Corporation introduced a 3D printing system that can produce plastic parts 50 times faster as compared to the other existing 3D printing systems in the market.
Some of the key players operating in the 3D printing industry include 3D Systems Corporation, Stratasys Ltd., ExOne, Voxeljet AG, Arcam AB, SLM Solutions Group AG, EOS GmbH, Envision TEC GmbH, Materialise NV, Concept Laser Gmbh, Autodesk Inc., and Koninklijke DSM N.V.