Report: 3-D printing on pace for substantial growth, value

Allied Market Research says the global 3-D printing market will reach $8.6 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 20.6 percent.

Allied Market Research (Portland, Ore., USA) has published a new report, "3D Printing Market (Technologies, Materials, Applications and Geography) - Global Opportunity Analysis and Forecast-2013-2020, " that says the global 3-D printing market will reach $8.6 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.6 percent from 2014 to 2020. The surge in growth is primarily due to rising demand for faster and more efficient ways to manufacture complex objects using a wide array of materials.

The report says adoption of 3-D printing in various applications is growing on account of higher accuracy, efficient use of material and ability to build customized products. Its competency over traditional processes, time efficiency and simultaneous use of multiple materials have been the other prominent adoption drivers. However, higher cost of personal printing, expensive software and lack of channel partner assistance has been restraining the growth of the market. The economies of scale gained through advancement in technology and improved manufacturing process will help the market grow in future.

Stereolithography, selective laser sintering, electron beam melting, fused deposition modeling, and laminated object manufacturing are some of the technologies currently being used for 3-D printing. Stereolithography accumulated the largest revenue in 2013, which accounted for about 33 percent of the overall market. Electron beam melting is expected to be the fastest growing technology segment, projecting a CAGR of 26.7 percent during the forecast period (2014-2020).

Polymers, metals and ceramics among others are the key 3-D printing materials included for analysis in the report. Polymers have a major share of the 3-D printing materials market, generating revenue of $193.3 million in 2013. Metals and alloys are projected to be the fastest growing material segment and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 40.5 percent during 2014-2020.

The increasing adoption of 3-D printing in various application segments such as consumer products, industrial products, aerospace, automotive, defense, healthcare, education and research, architecture and arts are facilitating the growth of 3-D printing market. The key industry segments such as healthcare and aerospace, which are growing at a promising rate, have witnessed significant penetration of 3-D printing technology. The consumer product industry remains the largest application segment with a 22 percent market share, while defense sector is expected to exhibit the fastest growth at a CAGR of 17.2 percent during the forecast period.

North America leads the 3-D printing market with about 43.9 percent revenue share in 2013, followed closely by the European region. The dominance of North American market is attributed to the growth in healthcare, consumer, aerospace and automobile industry. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market, with a CAGR of 51.9 percent during 2014-2020, due to faster adoption of 3-D printing in developing industrial sectors.

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