The 3D printing market has not been growing very fast the last years, but according to market research firm Canalys that will change. The total 3D printing market has already become a 2.5 billion dollars market last year, but the research firm expects the market to grown to 3.8 billion dollars this year, becoming a 16.2 billion market by 2018.
To be more precise: the total 3D printing market today is worth 2.5 billion dollars, of which 0.7 billion dollars go to the 3D printers market and 1.8 billion goes to services and materials. In 2014 the 3D printing market will become a 3.8 billion market (3D printers: 1.3 billion, services and materials: 2.5 billion). But then comes the big growth spurt: in 2018 the 3D printing market will be worth as much as 16.2 billion dollars. In addition, the 3D printer market will then be worth 5.4 billion dollars and the services and materials market will become a 10.8 billion dollars market. The following figure by Zdnet (but consisting of data from Canalys) accurately shows these figures:
Good news for the industry, but the big question is: why this sudden grow? Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd thinks there is a link between these figures and the falling prices of 3D printers as well as the advances in technology. This makes it possible for more consumers to embrace 3D printing techniques. He says: “This is a market with enormous growth potential now that the main barriers to up-take are being addressed. As it matures, there is clear and substantial potential across numerous sectors, such as engineering and architecture, aerospace and defense, and medical (particularly in the fabrication of custom prosthetics), for 3-D printing to have a dramatic impact within five years.”
Canalys announces new service: 3D printing market to grow to US$16.2 billion in 2018 http://t.co/H0NEU7ZsZJ
— Canalys (@Canalys) March 31, 2014
He adds: “We are at the inflection point for 3D printing. It has now moved from a new and much-hyped, but largely unproven, manufacturing process to a technology with the ability to produce real, innovative, complex and robust products. This is a fast-evolving market, but it is still in its infancy. Expect to see new major entrants making a significant impact in the industry in the coming years, including giants such as HP. As barriers fall, new use cases emerge, the technology improves and new entrants join, this is a market that will look very different in five years’ time.”