Jan 10, 2019 | By Cameron

The IDC (International Data Corporation) recently forecasted that the global 3D printing industry (hardware, materials, services, and software) will reach $13.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 21.2% over the previous year. That figure is expected to grow to $22.7 billion by 2022. Those of us with a finger on the pulse of 3D printing see the technology everywhere because we know what it looks like, but the truth is that 3D printing is still growing as there still exist many untapped markets. For those that don’t follow the industry, it can be difficult to see the rapid growth because consumer adoption of 3D printers isn’t the driving force of the growth (consumer spending will account for less than 5% of the worldwide total at $647 million): it’s discrete manufacturers and medical practices.

Many still think of 3D printing as a great method of prototyping, but more and more industries are 3D printing end-use products. “3D printing has moved beyond its early days of prototyping in manufacturing and is proliferating to other use cases and industries. The benefits of customized, cost-effective printing are being realized in a more diverse manner, as exemplified by growing spend in aftermarket parts in manufacturing, surgical models in healthcare, and architectural designs in professional services, to name a few,” relates IDC Customer Insights and Analysis Research Manager Marianne D’Aquila.

Today, the leading use cases for 3D printing are prototypes, aftermarket parts, and parts for new products, but the fastest growing use cases are creating tissue, organs, and bone as well as dental objects. And it’s not just 3D printers that are appearing everywhere, it’s also 3D scanners.

“The fragmented and concentrated nature of the 3D scanning market kept the market from expanding in the past,” explains IDC Imaging, Printing, and Document Solutions Research Analyst Max Pepper. “Within the past decade, continued interest in various vertical industries and similar factors leading to the growth of the 3D printer market are starting to push the (3D scanner) market toward more mainstream applications.”

Those reaching for 3D scanners include the medical, real estate, and entertainment industries. Surgeons are using 3D scanners for ocular and dental procedures, realtors use them to create virtual tours of homes, and production studios are 3D scanning people and objects for use in movies, video games, and augmented and virtual realities. Construction companies are also preserving heritage sites with the technology.

“We’ve seen a lot of development on the 3D printing technology side in 2018. Rapid increases in production speeds combined with major advances in 3D printing materials enabling the use of 3D printing in manufacturing across a wider range of applications,” states Tim Greene, IDC Hardcopy Peripherals and 3D Printing Research Director. “As more users recognize these benefits they are looking for more ways to use the technology, which drives higher levels of equipment utilization for prototyping, tooling, and real manufacturing.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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