The growth of the 3D printing industry, rising demand for cloud-based slicing software, emerging applications of 3D printing across industries (including healthcare), and rising demand for integrated slicing software are the major factors supporting the sale and subscription growth of this software. Owing to these factors, the global slicing software market is expected to reach $2,202.5 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 16.7% during the forecast period (2020–2030).
Fused Disposition Modeling (FDM) Held Largest Share
Based on technology, the FDM category accounted for the largest size in 2019 in the market. This was mainly due to the widespread use of FDM 3D printing, from prototyping to final part manufacturing, in industries such as aerospace, medical devices, and automotive. Moreover, it offers several advantages, such as accurately creating geometric structures, compatibility with a wide range of filaments, less requirement for post-processing, easy use, and lesser time requirement.
On the basis of industry, the aerospace & defense category held the largest share in 2019 in the market. This was mainly due to the vast adoption of the 3D printing technology over traditional manufacturing for the creation of stronger and lighter parts. The applications of 3D printing in the industry include the making of engine compartments, air ducts, cabin accessories, bezels, and lights.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to register the fastest industry growth during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the expansion of the 3D printing market, rapid adoption of new technologies in the manufacturing process, growth in the demand for swift and functional prototyping, extensive support from the government of several countries, and need for high-volume production of parts in industrial manufacturing plants. For instance, in 2017, China introduced the AM Industry Development Action Plan, through which the country aims to make its 3D printing industry worth $3 billion by 2020, which would also result in the increasing utilization of slicing software, thereby contributing in the market growth.
Merger and Acquisition Are among Strongest Measures Adopted by Market Players
Players in the slicing software market are extensively focusing on the acquisition of 3D printing product and service providers, in order to strengthen their presence and expand the application of their offerings.
In November 2019, U.S.-based 3D printing company Formlabs Inc. announced the acquisition of Spectra Group Limited Inc., a manufacturer of resin materials for 3D printing. With this acquisition, the company aims to focus on the production of biocompatible polymers that are incorporated into medical devices. Additionally, the company aims to focus on the utilization of 3D printing for dental applications. Hence, such strategic alliances are expected to drive the rate of innovation in the healthcare industry, pertaining to 3D printing, thereby resulting in a rising demand for slicing software.
In November 2019, BASF New Business GmbH, a subsidiary of Germany-based chemical company BASF SE, signed an agreement to acquire Europe-based 3D printing company Sculpteo. With this acquisition, BASF New Business GmbH aims to drive its growth, by providing new additional sales channels for customers and partners, as well as offering them a faster access to advanced 3D printing solutions.
Some of the key players operating in the slicing software market include Autodesk Inc., Stratasys Ltd., Ultimaker B.V., Materialise N.V., 3D Control Systems Inc., Raise 3D Technologies Inc., 3DaGoGo Inc., Zortrax S.A., Simplify 3D Inc., Craftunique Korlatolt Felelossegu Tarsasag (KFT), E3D Skunkworks Ltd., MatterHackers Inc., BCN3D Technologies Inc., Prusa Research a.s., and Zhejiang Flashforge 3D Technology Co. Ltd.