3D Printing Industry Study Projects Rapid Growth, Offers Insight on Current 3D Printing Adopters
The 3D printing market is projected to reach $7.3 billion by the close of 2016, and eclipse $21 billion by 2020, according to a recent report on the industry published by shipping giant UPS.
The report, ‘3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Industrial Manufacturing,’ depicts the rapid 30% year over year growth seen in additive manufacturing between 2012 and 2014. The trend is projected to continue as the adoption of additive technologies becomes more widespread across sectors.
Top Reasons for Integrating 3D Printing
Across industries, the most-cited reason to pursue 3D printing as part of workflow was prototyping, with product development and general innovation coming in second and third, respectively. All these answers fall under the greater category of concept development, and indicate that for many of those who have adopted 3D printing so far, an eye for the future is the leading factor in their choice to invest.
Geographic Discrepancies in 3D Printing Industry
The report corroborates many other industry studies that indicate the dominance of North America and Europe in the current market, with more than 68% of total 3D printing revenues flowing through the two continents (including 40% in North America). Asia and the SE Pacific region represent an additional 27%.
Most-Used Applications of 3D Printed Parts
In breaking down the top current uses of 3D printing and 3D printed products, the report found that functional, end-use parts are, by percentage, the most widely-used application. While this may not run directly counter to the adopters using 3D printing for so-called concept development, it is worthy of note that so many are using 3D printing to produce functional parts.
For more consistent updates on the state of the 3D printing industry and the latest developments, check out FATHOM’s weekly Change Is Additive blog series.
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