While analysts from Nomura are a bit skeptical about 3D printing, a report by Markets and Markets seems to have a more optimistic view on 3D printing. It states that in 2018 the 3D printing materials market could be worth as much as 408,5 million dollars.
In order to write this report, they divided the market of 3D printing in four different types of materials: plastics, metals, ceramics and others (such as wax and paper). The most booming business is the market of plastics. There is a bigger awareness that it’s become easier to 3D print plastic objects. Therefore, Markets and Markets expects the 3D printing market of plastic materials to grow from 70,5 million dollars in 2012 to as much as 209,6 million by 2018, which is about half of the expected total value of the 3D printing business in 2018, 408,5 million dollars.
It’s expensive to 3D print metallic objects, because the metal printers use lasers in order to print out their objects. Therefore, the report does not expect metal 3D printing to gain a high value in the future, but ‘ceramics’ and ‘others’ will do. The report also states that the most important counties of the world for 3D printing are the US, Japan, the UK and Germany. The United States dominated the market of 3D printing and second came the Asia-Pacific region. Together they accounted for more than 80 percent of the 3D printing materials revenue in 2012.
The report expects Asia-Pacific to grow with CAGR of 27,6 percent from 2013 to 2018, which will be a lot more than North America will do. However, Europe is expected to be the next fastest growing market, owing to rising consumption.