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3D Printing

Research: 3D Printing Market to Double by 2020

The 3D printing market will hit $35.4 billion in 2020, according to a new report form International Data Corp. (IDC). That total is more than double the revenue projected for this year and would constitute a 24.1 percent compound annual growth rate over the course of the period forecast.

"While 3D printers and materials will represent nearly half the total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast, software and related services will also experience significant growth," according to a news release. "Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth. The gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customization in non-traditional environments."

"Customer spending on 3D printing capabilities is following the market away from mass market consumer printers towards holistic solutions that enable higher-end — and more profitable — use cases," said Christopher Chute, vice president of customer Insights and analysis at IDC, in a prepared statement. "As the market for printers, materials and services matures, IDC expects new 3D printing capabilities to enable a next-wave of customer innovation in discrete manufacturing, product design and life sciences."

Discrete manufacturing will lead the market growth, generating 56 percent of revenue, according to IDC, owing to the use of 3D printing in prototyping and parts production.

Healthcare and professional services will take second and third place, respectively, in driving the market, though retail will see the largest growth, pushing it to fourth place. The consumer market will experience only modest growth, as it has already matured according to the company.

"IDC expects the worldwide 3D printing market to continue its rapid expansion over the next several years, driven by the need to reduce manufacturing cycle times and to reduce prototyping costs," said Keith Kmetz, program vice president of IDC's imaging, printing and document solutions research, in a prepared statement. "This growth will be fueled by an explosion of 3D printer manufacturers from around the world, seeking to capitalize on the anticipated growth in this market with faster printers that offer better quality output at lower prices."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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