The global 3D printing market size was valued at USD 11.58 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a CAGR exceeding 14% from 2020 to 2027. Globally, 1.42 million units of 3D printers were shipped in 2018 and this number is expected to reach 8.04 million units by 2027. The aggressive R&D in Three-Dimensional Printing (3DP) and growing demand for prototyping applications from various industry verticals, particularly healthcare, automotive, and aerospace and defense, are the factors expected to drive the market growth.
The use of 3D printing in industrial applications usually refers to additive manufacturing (AM). Additive manufacturing involves a layer-by-layer addition of material to form an object referring to a three-dimensional file with the help of a software and a 3-dimensional printer.A relevant 3D printing technology is selected from the available set of technologies to implement the process. The last step involves deployment of this process across different industry verticals based on the necessity.
The deployment includes providing installation services, consultation solutions, and customer support, as well as handling aspects related to copyrights, licensing, and patenting. 3D printing benefits manufacturers in terms of prototyping, structural designing the structures and end products, modeling, and reduced time to market. As a result, the production expenses have reduced considerably helping the manufacturers offer better products at reasonable prices. As a result, the demand for 3D printers is expected to witness significant growth in the forthcoming years.
However, the prevailing misconceptions with respect to the prototyping processes held by the small and medium-scale manufacturers are hindering the adoption of additive manufacturing. Companies involved in designing, particularly small-scale and medium-scale enterprises are deliberating before considering investments in prototyping as accountable investments rather than trying to understand the advantages and benefits of prototyping. The general notion prevailing among these enterprises is that prototyping is merely an expensive phase prior to the manufacturing. Such perceptions regarding the prototyping coupled with the lack of technical knowledge and a looming lack of standard process controls are expected to hinder the market growth.
Based on printer types, the 3D printing market has been segmented into industrial and desktop 3D printers. The industrial printers segment accounted for the largest market share of 77% in 2019 and is anticipated to continue its dominance over the forecast period. Both desktop as well as industrial 3-dimensional printer segment are further divided into hardware, software, and services. The higher share of the industrial printer segment can be attributed to the extensive adoption in heavy industries, such as automotive, electronics, aerospace and defense, and healthcare. Prototyping, designing, and tooling are some of the most common industrial applications of the product type. Extensive adoption of 3D printing for prototyping, designing, and tooling are contributing to the growing demand from the industrial sector. This factor is projected to fuel the growth of the industrial segment in near future.
The adoption of desktop 3-dimensional printers was initially limited to hobbyists and small enterprises. However, they are being increasingly used for household and domestic purposes. The education sector, which comprises schools, educational institutes, and universities, is also deploying desktop printers for technical training and research purposes. Small businesses are particularly adopting desktop printers and are diversifying their business operations to offer 3D printing and other related services. For instance, the concept of fabshops is gaining popularity in U.S. These fabshops offer on-demand 3D printing of parts and components as per the designs and requirements provided by the customers. Hence, the demand for desktop printers is expected to rise significantly over the forecast period.
Based on technology, the market is segmented into stereolithography, Fuse Deposition Modeling (FDM), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), inkjet, polyjet, laser metal deposition, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), digital light processing, laminated object manufacturing, and others. Stereolithography technology happens to be one of the oldest and conventional printing technologies. The segment accounted for around 11% market share in 2019.
Although the advantages and ease of operations associated with the stereolithography technology are encouraging the adoption of this technology, technological advancements and aggressive R&D activities undertaken by the industry experts and researchers are opening opportunities for several other efficient and reliable technologies. FDM accounted for a considerable revenue share in 2019, owing to an extensive adoption of the technology across various 3DP processes. The DLP, EBM, inkjet printing, and DMLS technologies are also expected to witness a significant rise in adoption over the forecast period, as these technologies are applicable in specialized additive manufacturing processes. The growing demand from aerospace and defense, healthcare, and automotive verticals would open opportunities for the adoption of these technologies in near future.
Based on software, the 3DP market has been segmented into design software, inspection software, printer software, and scanning software. Design software is used for constructing the designs of the object to be printed, particularly in automotive, aerospace and defense, and construction and engineering verticals. Design software acts as a bridge between the objects to be printed and the printer’s hardware. Hence, the design software held the largest market share in 2019 and is expected to continue leading over the forecast period.
The scanners software segment is expected to witness rapid growth and generate considerable revenues over the forecast period in line with the growing adoption of scanners. The market size of the segment is projected to expand at the highest CAGR of 15.2% from 2020 to 2027. The demand for scanning software is estimated to rise on account of the growing trend of scanning the objects and storing the scanned documents. This ability to store the scanned images of the objects irrespective of their size or dimensions for 3-dimensional printing of these objects whenever necessary is expected to drive the growth of the scanner software segment over the forecast period.
Based on application, the market for 3D printing has been segmented further into prototyping, tooling, and functional parts. Prototyping segment accounted for the largest market share in 2019 owing to an extensive adoption of the prototyping process across several industry verticals. The automotive and aerospace and defense verticals particularly use prototyping to design and develop parts, components, and complex systems precisely. Prototyping allows manufacturers to achieve a higher accuracy and develop reliable end products. Hence, the prototyping segment is expected to continue dominating the market over the forecast period.
Functional parts include smaller joints and other metallic hardware connecting components. The accuracy and precise sizing of these functional parts are of paramount importance while developing machinery and systems. The functional parts segment is expected to register a significant CAGR of 14.9% from 2020 to 2027 in line with the increasing demand for designing and building functional parts.
Based on verticals, the market has been segmented into separate verticals for desktop and industrial 3D printing. The verticals considered for desktop 3DP comprises educational purpose, fashion and jewelry, objects, dental, food, and others. The verticals considered for industrial 3DP comprises automotive, aerospace and defense, healthcare, consumer electronics, industrial, power and energy, and others. The aerospace and defense, healthcare, and automotive verticals are anticipated to contribute significantly toward the growth of the industrial additive manufacturing over the forecast period, owing to the active adoption of technology in various production processes associated with these verticals.
In healthcare sector, additive manufacturing helps the development of artificial tissues and muscles, which replicate the natural human tissues and can be used in replacement surgeries. These capabilities are expected to help in driving the adoption of 3DP across the healthcare vertical and contribute significantly towards the growth of the industrial segment. On the other hand, dental, fashion and jewelry, and food verticals are anticipated to contribute significantly to the growth of the desktop 3DP segment over the forecast period. Dental vertical dominated in 2019 and it is expected to continue dominating the segment over the forecast period. The adoption of 3D printing for manufacturing imitation jewelry, miniatures, art and craft, and clothing and apparels is also gaining traction.
Based on material, the market has been segmented into polymer, metal, and ceramic. The polymer segment accounted for the largest market share in 2019 as compared to the metal and ceramic segments. However, the metal segment is anticipated to hold the largest market share and continue leading over the forecast period. The metal segment is also expected to expand at the highest CAGR of above 19% over the forecast period. Considering the additive manufacturing using ceramic material is fairly new, the increasing R&D for 3DP technologies such as FDM and inkjet printing has led to rising demand for ceramic additive manufacturing. The segment is expected to expand at a high CAGR of more than 16% over the forecast period.
Based on component, the market for 3D printing has been segmented further into hardware, software, and services. The hardware segment is expected to continue holding the largest market share over the forecast period. The technology has helped hardware providers to produce complicated and delicate functional parts with greater ease and accuracy. Moreover, the production expenditures are being reduced significantly, owing to the enhanced prototyping and benefits offered by the technology.
The software segment is expected to portray the highest CAGR over the next six years. The software or solution providers offer three-dimensional design, control, and other relevant software used for monitoring and inspecting the quality of products to be printed. Whereas, service component offers installation services, maintenance services, customer grievances, consulting and technical support, and other post-sale services.
North America emerged as the largest market for 3D printing with a revenue share of more than 35% in 2019, owing to an extensive adoption of additive manufacturing in the region. North American countries, such as U.S. and Canada have been some of the prominent and early adopters of this technologies in various manufacturing processes. This factor is projected to help the region continue holding the largest market share in the forthcoming years. The regional market offers lucrative opportunities for additive manufacturing in different applications.
On the other hand, Europe happens to be the largest region in terms of its geographical footprint. It is home to several additive manufacturing industry players that hold a strong technical expertise in additive manufacturing processes. Hence, the Europe market is expected to continue holding the second largest market share in the forthcoming years.
However, Asia Pacific is projected to witness the highest CAGR over the forecast period. Rapid adoption of additive manufacturing, attributed to the developments and upgrades across the manufacturing industry within the region is anticipated to fuel the growth. The region is also an emerging manufacturing hub for automotive and healthcare industries. A stronghold on the production of consumer electronics coupled with a rapid urbanization is also contributing to the rising regional demand for 3D printers in the region.
Market players focus on technological advancements to enhance the existing technology in response to the growing demand for 3D printing applications from the automotive, healthcare, and aerospace and defense verticals for manufacturing purposes. Stratsys, Ltd.; Materialise; EnvisionTec, Inc.; 3D Systems, Inc.; GE Additive; Autodesk Inc.; Made In Space; Canon Inc.; and Voxeljet AG are some of the eminent players active in the market.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Revenue in USD Million, Shipment in Thousand Units & CAGR from 2020 to 2027
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and MEA
U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, India, South Korea, Singapore, and Brazil
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)
If you need specific information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization
The report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global 3D printing market report based on component, printer type, technology, software, application, vertical, material, and region:
Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Printer Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Desktop 3D Printer
Industrial 3D Printer
Technology Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Fuse Deposition Modeling
Selective Laser Sintering
Direct Metal Laser Sintering
Electron Beam Melting
Laser Metal Deposition
Digital Light Processing
Laminated Object Manufacturing
Software Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Vertical Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Industrial 3D Printing
Aerospace & Defense
Power & Energy
Desktop 3D Printing
Fashion & Jewelry
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Middle East & Africa
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