The global 3D printing materials market was valued at $558.4 million in 2017, and it is projected to reach $1,365.6 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 16.7% during the forecast period (2018–2023). The aerospace & defense category held the largest revenue share in the market, by application, during the historical period (2013–2017).
Besides, the 3D printing materials market is also expected to witness the fastest growth in the category of aerospace & defense. The market growth in this category is mainly driven by the use of titanium in 3D printing the parts or prototypes; titanium is the most expensive 3D printing material.
Growing Adoption of 3D Printing in Education Sector the Key Trend
There is a growing adoption of the 3D printing concept in the education sector, to help students think conceptually and bring their ideas to life. Various progressive schools have integrated 3D printing technologies into their curriculum, as they enhance students’ creativity, promote problem solving skills, increase engagement and interactivity, and offer a practical, hands-on approach to theories. The adoption of the concept in the education sector is thus being seen as major trend in the 3D printing materials market.
Growing Automotive Industry a Major Market Driver
The global demand for automobiles is rising at a rapid pace, in countries such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia. For instance, in 2017, China and India have become the world’s two largest automotive markets, in terms of sales volume, which reached 29.12 million units and 4.02 million units, respectively. 3D printing is quickly becoming popular in the automotive industry, especially in the designing of parts which have complex geometries and are difficult to produce using traditional methods. Moreover, 3D-printed automotive components are lightweight and consume lesser energy during production. The high adoption rate of 3D printing in the automotive industry is thus driving the 3D printing materials market.
Segmentation Analysis of 3D Printing Materials Market
The metals category is expected to exhibit the fastest growth, among all types, in the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the higher price of metallic 3D printing materials than plastics and ceramics.
Powder was the largest category in the 3D printing materials market, on the basis of form, in 2017. This is attributed to the fact that materials in the powder form are consumed in heavy amounts during the production of large and dense parts for the military, aerospace, and oil and gas industries.
The aerospace & defense category is expected to exhibit the fastest growth in the forecast period, in terms of value, on the basis of application. This is attributed to the increasing adoption of the 3D printing-integrated additive manufacturing technique in the industry, as it can easily create massive and complex parts.
Geographical Analysis of 3D Printing Materials Market
Together, North America and Europe are expected to account for over 75.0% share in the 3D printing materials market by 2023. This can be primarily credited to the presence of established players and increasing popularity of 3D printing in the medical and dental sector.
APAC and Rest of the World (RoW) also hold considerable shares in the 3D printing materials market, majorly owing to the extensive industrial base, supportive government policies, funding in research and development, and growing adoption of this manufacturing technique in various healthcare applications, including dental, surgery, and prototyping.
China is expected to lead the APAC regional market over the forecast period, primarily on account of the technological advancements in 3D printing and increasing demand for customized healthcare products and consumer goods.
The 3D printing industry in RoW is still in the nascent stage. However, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is working to explore the potential of the 3D printing industry in the Latin American region, which can enable manufacturers to produce the products in the desired quantity, as and when required.
Competitive Landscape of 3D Printing Materials Market
The 3D printing materials market is dominated by Stratasys Ltd., 3D Systems Corporation, EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, and The ExOne Company.
In June 2017, Stratasys Ltd. and Boom Supersonic signed a technical partnership to accelerate the production of advanced composite tooling and production-grade aircraft parts, via Stratasys’ FDM 3D printing technology. The agreement allows Boom Supersonic to leverage Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions, materials, and expert services.
Some other important players operating in the global 3D printing materials market include Royal DSM, Arkema Group, CRP Technology Srl, EnvisionTEC GmbH, LPW Technology Ltd., Solidscape Inc., and Formlabs Inc.