3D printing is now on the verge of mainstream adoption as businesses begin to recognize and embrace the cost and product manufacturing benefits of the technology. Global 3D printer shipments are anticipated to grow by ten times over the next four years, a new IDC report revealed.
According to a new research study from International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide 3D printer market will experience tremendous unit and revenue growth from 2012 to 2017, with compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 59% and 29%, respectively.
The fast-paced evolution of 3D printing has moved well beyond early adopters and hobbyists. The analysts said that the technology will move out of its niche markets and become mainstream as it is now being utilized regularly in business applications where substantial cost and time-to-market benefits are gained. In addition to general manufacturing/R&D applications, 3D print is also finding sweet spots in aerospace, automotive, education, dental, jewelry, medical, and recreation vertical industries.
"Print is extending beyond output on media to the creation of an actual object, and that presents incredible opportunity," said Keith Kmetz, Vice President, Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions. "While traditional print technologies are facing maturity, 3D printers will see worldwide unit shipments grow by 10 times over the forecast period, and worldwide hardware value will more than double in the short term."
The report said traditional printer vendors are increasingly seeing 3D printing as an opportunity, and are getting into the game. HP is preparing to enter the market in mid-2014, and Konica Minolta is about to sign a U.S. agreement to distribute a leading manufacturer's 3D printers. Other printer vendors will look to enter this lucrative opportunity in the near future as well.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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