The technology is capable of printing completely integrated part-combinations as a single finished product and has the capacity to print more complex designed parts than could ever be done by traditional molding processes.
The overall 3D printing market consists of the combined value of 3D printers, polymer materials, parts and services. A major new report from Smithers Pira, The Future of 3D Printing to 2025, estimates the value of the global 3D printing market at $4 billion in 2014. The market is expected to increase to $5.9 billion in 2015 and grow to $49.1 billion by 2025, representing a CAGR of 23.7%.
The market consists of two subcategories:
- Industrial markets: 3D printing users are typically large commercial enterprises
- DIY consumer markets: 3D printing users are small residential consumers or hobbyists
The study shows that in 2015, the industrial market share is expected to be about 93% of total 3D printing market value, while the industrial market share of individual printer shipments is only about 21%, with the reminder held by the DIY consumer market. Therefore, industrial markets have the largest portion of business value, while DIY consumer markets utilize the largest number of printers.
Most interesting are the industrial applications, which have the greatest value potential and reside in those markets that are served by commercial enterprises and industrial manufacturing companies. The many different industrial markets are itemized by global value in Figure 1 below. The largest markets are aerospace, automotive, consumer products and the combined medical markets, according to the report.
Figure 1: Global 3D printing industrial forecast by market, $ million
Source: Smithers Pira
In terms of regional markets, the report shows that North America is expected to represent 40% market share in 2015, while Europe and Asia will represent 31% and 26% respectively. By 2025, regional market shares will change: North America is expected to decline in share to 34%, with Europe share remaining relatively stable at 32%, and Asia increasing share to 33%.
3D printing has come a long way over the last 10 years, but it will still require another 5 to 10 years before it is more fully accepted by the overall manufacturing sectors. The revolution is still in its infancy; even at the forecasted 2015 market value of $5.9 billion, this only represents about 0.02% of global manufacturing value, which was about $25 trillion in 2014. However, with a 1% share of the global manufacturing value in 2014 equating to about $250 billion, the magnitude of the potential for 3D printing is really quite staggering. Suffice to say at this early stage of growth, the opportunity for the 3D printing industry is extremely attractive.
The Future of 3D Printing to 2020 is available now for £4,200. For more information, please contact Lina Alousta on +44 (0)1372 802017, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.smitherspira.com