3-D printing has been hailed as the next big thing for a while now, but as the technology continues to improve and cost decreases, it appears to be on the cusp of breaking out in a big way.
Exhibit A — a newly released research report by MarketsandMarkets predicts the segment will expand at an incredible compound annual growth rate of 23 percent from now until 2020, when it will be worth $8.41 billion.
The report says that rapid growth will be driven by the development of new and improved technologies, financial support from governments, large application areas, rapid product development at a low cost and ease in development of custom products. It also notes that the February 2014 expiration of selective laser sintering patents should help spur innovation.
America is currently the 3-D printing leader, followed by Europe — though Europe is expected to surpass America in 3-D printing revenue by 2020. However, the most promising area, according to the report, is the Asia-Pacific market, which enjoys high industrial growth, technological awareness, supportive government policies and financial investment by the governments in R&D.
Technologies covered in the report include stereolithography, laser sintering, electron beam melting, fused disposition modeling and laminated object modeling. Major companies discussed include 3D Systems, Stratasys, Arcam AB and Exone.
The complete report is available here: 3D Printing Market by Technology (SLA, SLS, EBM, FDM, EBM, LOM, 3DP), Materials (Polymers, Metal), Application (Aerospace, Automotive, Consumer, Healthcare, Government & Defense) & Geography (Americas, Europe, APAC & ROW) (2013 – 2020)
[ photo courtesy of MakerBot ]