Feb 24, 2016 | By Alec

At the end of 2015, market experts collectively pointed at the ongoing 3D printing revolution as one of the biggest tech trends to look out for. They all also agreed that the market is set to expand tremendously; Gartner even went as far as to predict that 10 percent of people in the developed world will be wearing 3D printed objects in or on their body in just three to four years from now. But what about the world beyond that? After all, 3D printing businesses and markets are overwhelmingly concentrated in the West and East Asia. However, a new report by the International Data Corporation suggest that other markets will expand too – they predict that the spending on 3D printing in the Middle East and Africa market will more than double over the coming years, growing to $1.3 billion by 2019.

The International Data Corporation (IDC), of course, is the world leading provider of market intelligence, advisory services and data for a number of fields, information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. With a presence in more than 100 countries throughout the world, they typically know what they’re talking about. Their new Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide predicts quite some remarkable growth in developing regions, though it is actually part of a huge report on the 3D printing industry. Among others, it also provides data on 20 industries in eight regions in the world, and on the development 3D printing hardware, materials, software, and services. It is, in short, a comprehensive guide of the state of 3D printing over the coming five years.

But their optimistic predictions on the developing world cannot be overlooked. With spending in the Middle East and Africa (or MEA) market being worth approximately $0.47 billion over 2015, they expect that to almost triple, reaching $1.3 billion by 2019. They further see a compound annual growth rate of (CAGR) of 30.8% over that same 2015‒2019 period. This is quite a remarkable figure, as the same predictions for worldwide growth rate is put at 26.9%. Their share of global printing spending is expected to grow from 4.3% in 2014 to 5.0% by 2019.

The world’s emerging markets, IDC argues, will present a clear growth opportunity to the 3D printing industry and their hardware and services. They expect this will be especially the case for the Asia-Pacific region, led by the Chinese market, but it’s very interesting to see that the MEA market is actually being case as a frontrunner in terms of growth.

Kodjo Afate Gnikou, an inventor from Togo, West Africa, who built a $100 3D from e-waste.

According to Martin Kuban, a senior research analyst with IDC Manufacturing Insights, 3D printing offers considerable growth potential to the whole of the Middle East and Africa region. “The technology will dynamically proliferate across multiple manufacturing industries over the coming years, and we are already seeing significant interest from manufacturers in the GCC countries looking to utilise 3D printing technology,” he argues. “Aside from some of the more obvious applications within the automotive and aerospace industries, we expect to see some innovative and potentially transformative 3D printing deployments among medical suppliers, electronics manufacturers, and tools and components manufacturers.”

In part, they say, that growth potential can be found in the mainstream adoption of 3D printed goods – both by private users and other businesses. This will, of course, change the very nature of 3D printing in the MEA region. With the focus more on research and prototyping right now, that is expected to partly shift to customized products. And with 3D printing innovations reaching more sectors, from healthcare, education, construction, and retail, very rapidly, that could go at a very high pace.

And the reasons for that adoption are the same as elsewhere: to lower costs, increase efficiency and provide customized comfort. “We are also seeing increasing adoption among oil and gas companies in the Middle East as they look to enable the rapid prototyping of parts on their sites, which can often be found in extremely isolated locations,” says Ashwin Venkatchari, IDC’s senior program manager for imaging devices and document solutions in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. “This limits downtime and reduces costs, which is particularly important in this current environment of low oil prices. But cost savings aren’t the only drivers of 3D printing in the region; for example, the healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing users of technology, and the primary driver in this space is the ability of 3D printing to improve the lives of patients.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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