Mar 8, 2017 | By Tess

When most people think of the Netherlands, images of clogs, bikes, and tulips tend to come to mind. The way things are going, however, we wouldn’t be surprised if 3D printing soon entered that list. The Netherlands, a small but influential nation, has turned out some of the most innovative and inspiring 3D printing technologies and companies that we know of, from open-source 3D printer company Ultimaker, to filament brand ColorFabb, to 3D Hubs, to the 3D Print Canal House.

3D Print Canal House visualization

If those names (and trust me, there are many more) haven’t already convinced you, a recent report has shown that the Dutch 3D printing industry is expected to reach about 120 million euros in 2017. The report, conducted jointly by Dutch bank ABN AMRO and consulting firm Berenschot, estimates that the Dutch 3D printing market was worth about 100 million euros in 2016 and will continue to grow significantly over the next year (by about 20 million).

The report highlights a number of growth areas within the Dutch additive manufacturing market, including desktop 3D printers and industrial-grade metal 3D printers. According to the document, the desktop 3D printer market in the Netherlands is expected to grow to about 3 million in 2017, largely due to the creation of more advanced models with dual extrusion, better accuracy, bigger print volumes, and a growing range of 3D printable materials.

The report also attributes the potential growth to the increasing integration of 3D printing technologies in the education sector. Notable Dutch desktop 3D printer manufacturers include Ultimaker, Builder 3D, Felix, Leapfrog, Nectar, Opiliones, Atum3D and dddrop.

Three notable Dutch 3D printing companies: Ultimaker, ColorFabb, 3D Hubs

According to the report, the professional metal 3D printer market will see even more significant growth, especially with the launch of the Netherlands’ first metal 3D printer, the MetalFab1 by Additive Industries.

“With the introduction of the MetalFab1 by Additive Industries, the very first Dutch metal 3D printer was created,” commented David Kemps, Sector Banker Industry at ABN AMRO In the Netherlands. “Metal printers are mostly used in the medical and dental sectors. Selling the printers to schools, fablabs and knowledge institutions is good for the adaptation of 3D printing.”

On a global scale, the market for professional 3D printers has grown significantly in recent years, even seeing a 47% increase between 2014 and 2015. The increase in metal 3D printing tech can be attributed to companies such as DMG Mori, Trumpf, and the aforementioned Additive Industries, which have added metal 3D printing technology to their offerings. There is little indication that this growth will subside in coming years.

The Netherlands, which is an undeniable leader in 3D printing, will have to work hard to maintain its position as the technology becomes increasingly popular across the world. As Onno Ponfoort, Practice Leader 3D printing at Berenschot, said: “The Netherlands is in the lead group now. To ensure that we keep this lead, we need significant investments, for example in education. We also have a need for larger, industry-specific service providers in 3D printing.”



Posted in Statistics



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