3D printing market to grow to US$16.2 billion in 2018

- Technology advances and decreasing expense will enable the market to expand from a value of US$2.5 billion in 2013

Palo Alto, Shanghai, Singapore and Reading – Monday, 31 March 2014


Canalys today announced its forecast for the fast-evolving 3D printing market, as part of its new program of research and analysis in this space. The size of the market, including 3D printer sales, materials and associated services, reached US$2.5 billion globally in 2013. Canalys predicts that this will rise to US$3.8 billion in 2014, with the market continuing to experience rapid growth, reaching US$16.2 billion by 2018. This represents an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.7% from 2013 to 2018.

“This is a market with enormous growth potential now that the main barriers to up-take are being addressed,” said Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Shepherd. “Advances in technology are yielding faster print times and enabling objects to be printed in greater combinations of materials, colors and finishes. Crucially, prices are also falling, making the technology an increasingly feasible option for a broad variety of enterprise and consumer uses, restricted only by computer aided design competencies and printer availability – both of which are set to improve significantly. 3D printing has become an established technology for producing prototypes and concept models of all manner of products. But 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 3D printing to have a dramatic impact within five years.”

In the short-term, Canalys expects printing-to-order services to drive considerable growth while penetration lags technology advances. “There is a clear opportunity for companies to establish 3D printing service studios to address the growing demand for the custom products that this technology makes possible,” said Canalys Research Analyst, Joe Kempton. “That demand will continue to grow, driven by three main factors: customization potential, convenience and manufacturing efficiencies. Items can be printed and personalized to order. They can often be printed locally, rather than necessitating designs be sent off to large, sometimes distant, manufacturing facilities. 3D printing also promises less material waste and often lower energy consumption than conventional manufacturing processes. Given these benefits and the breadth of use cases, there is no doubt that this market is set for robust and significant growth.”

The value of the 3D printer market itself grew 109% in 2013 to US$711 million and is forecast to grow 79% in 2014 to hit US$1.3 billion. The market value is expected to grow to US$5.4 billion by 2018. Value growth will reflect increasing commercial printer volumes and, as such, also drive growth in the volume and value of consumables shipments, including both resistant printing materials and removable or dissolvable support materials.

 “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,” said Shepherd. “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.”

About Canalys’ 3D printing service

Canalys has launched a new 3D printing analysis service, designed to inform and support vendors engaged in strategic planning relating to this fast-evolving market. It provides both qualitative and quantitative analysis, including market sizing and forecasts, vendor profiles, analytical reports and inquiry support.

If this service sounds of interest to you, please register your interest and a Canalys representative will be in contact.

About Canalys

Canalys is an independent analyst company that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. Our customer-driven analysis and consulting services empower businesses to make informed decisions and generate sales. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology, and our high level of customer service.

Receiving updates

To receive press releases directly, or for more information about our events, services or custom research and consulting capabilities, please complete the contact form.


PDF version
184KB
For more information:
e-mail press@canalys.com
Or call:
Canalys APAC: Singapore Tel: +65 6671 9399 or
Shanghai, China Tel: +86 21 6271 1326
Canalys Americas: Palo Alto, USA Tel: +1 650 681 4488
Canalys EMEA: Reading, UK Tel: +44 118 984 0520