GVR Report cover Metal 3D Printing Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Metal 3D Printing Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Component (Hardware, Software, Services), By Technology, By Software, By Application, By Vertical, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Jul, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-811-4
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2017 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 250

Report Overview

The global metal 3D printing market size was valued at USD 3.15 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9% from 2021 to 2028. The metal 3D printing is one such market that has benefitted significantly from the growing necessity of rapid prototyping and advanced manufacturing practices. The industry is poised to witness unprecedented growth over the forecast period owing to the rising application of additive manufacturing in various industry verticals. The global industrial printer market is increasingly advancing towards consolidation to stay ahead of the competition. A substantial growth factor for this market is increasing innovation, which is leading to several benefits through the adoption of metal 3D printing across heavy industry applications.

North America Metal 3D Printing Hardware Market size, by technology, 2018 - 2028 (USD Million)

Increasing adoption of metal 3D printers for designing and prototyping of products and objects, coupled with the reduced manufacturing expenditure and accuracy in the end-product, is a key market proliferating factor. The market is poised to witness high demand arising prominently from the healthcare, automotive, and aerospace and defense sectors. Growing advancements in the healthcare sector so as to curb physical disabilities and ensure healthy living are influencing the sector to flourish and adopt new innovative methodologies, such as 3D printing.

Additionally, the automotive and aerospace sectors, where prototyping and designing plays a vital role in research and development so as to achieve perfection in their production are leading towards greater opportunities and increasing adoption of the 3D printing process.

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 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.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

Like most other markets, the outbreak of COVID-19 initially had an adverse impact on the 3D printing industry worldwide. With disruptions experienced across the supply chain, the metal 3D printer manufacturers were forced to temporarily shut their operations, resulting in a sluggish production. This consequently had an adverse impact on the overall market growth in 2020. However, increased use of 3D printing in the healthcare field to address the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and other medical devices has kept the market demand afloat.

Technology Insights

The Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technology segment led the metal 3D printing market and accounted for more than 24% share of the global revenue in 2020. Although the advantages and ease of operations associated with the SLM technology are encouraging the adoption of this technology, advances in technology and aggressive research and development activities undertaken by the industry experts and researchers are opening opportunities for several other efficient and reliable technologies. Other technologies used for metal 3D printing include Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Inkjet printing, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM), and Electron-beam Freeform Fabrication (EBF3).

EBM also accounts for a considerable revenue share in 2020, owing to the extensive adoption of the technology across various metal 3DP processes. The DMLS, EBF3, and SLS are also expected to witness high adoption over the forecast period as these technologies are applicable in specialized additive manufacturing processes. Growing demand from aerospace and defense, healthcare, and automotive verticals would open opportunities for the adoption of these technologies.

Software Insights

The design software segment led the market and accounted for more than 36% share of the global revenue in 2020. 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.

The scanners software segment is expected to witness rapid growth and generate considerable revenue over the forecast period in line with the growing adoption of scanners. The market size of the segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 21.7% from 2021 to 2028. Demand for scanning software is estimated to grow 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 the 3-dimensional printing of these objects whenever necessary is expected to fuel the growth of the scanner software segment over the forecast period.

Application Insights

The prototyping segment led the market and accounted for more than 55% share of the global revenue in 2020 to 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 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 expand at a significant CAGR of 24.1% from 2021 to 2028 in line with the increasing demand for designing and building functional parts.

Component Insights

The hardware segment led the market and accounted for more than 64% share of the global revenue in 2020. The hardware segment is anticipated to maintain its lead over the forecast period. The metal 3D printing hardware component segment is bifurcated by technology and application. Similarly, the software segment is further categorized by design software, inspection software, printer software, and scanning software.

The services segment is expected to expand at a significant CAGR of 24.9% from 2021 to 2028. With the adoption of methodology, metal 3D printing services help manufacturers 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. As such, the benefits and advantages of 3D printing are gaining greater attention from the players of various industry verticals.

Vertical Insights

The automotive segment led the market and accounted for more than 23% share of the global revenue in 2020. Other verticals include aerospace and defense, healthcare, consumer electronics, industrial, power, and energy, among others. The aerospace and defense, healthcare, and automotive verticals are anticipated to contribute significantly toward the growth of the metal 3D printing over the forecast period owing to the active adoption of technology in various production processes associated with these verticals.

Global metal 3D printing market share, by vertical, 2020 (%)

The healthcare segment is expected to expand at a significant CAGR of 23.2% from 2021 to 2028. In the healthcare sector, additive manufacturing helps in 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 metal 3D printing across the healthcare vertical and contribute significantly towards the growth of the industrial segment.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the market and accounted for over 35% share of global revenue in 2020 owing to the extensive adoption of additive manufacturing in the region. North American countries, such as the U.S. and Canada, have been one of the prominent and early adopters of these technologies in various manufacturing processes. The regional market is offering lucrative opportunities for metal 3D printing in different applications. Europe happens to be the largest region in terms of its geographical footprint. It is home to several additive manufacturing industry players, which hold strong technical expertise in additive manufacturing processes. Hence, Europe is the second-largest regional market.

Asia Pacific is projected to witness remarkable growth, expanding at the highest CAGR over the forecast period. This rapid adoption of metal 3D printing in the Asia Pacific can be attributed to the developments and upgrades across the manufacturing industry within the region. The Asia Pacific region is also emerging as a manufacturing hub for the automotive and healthcare industries. A stronghold on the production of consumer electronics, coupled with rapid urbanization, is also contributing towards rising demand for three-dimensional printing in the region.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market players are improvising the technology continuously in response to the growing demand for metal 3D printing applications from the automotive, healthcare, and aerospace and defense verticals for manufacturing purposes. Several key players are increasingly undergoing mergers and acquisitions along with the new industry entrants so as to expand their geographic presence and capture the escalating market potential. For instance, In August 2017, GE Additive (U.S.) an additive manufacturing company acquired Arcam AB (Sweden) to expand the service as well as solution offerings to the customers. Some of the prominent players operating in the global metal 3D printing market include:

  • Materialise NV

  • 3D Systems, Inc.

  • GE Additive

  • Autodesk Inc.

  • Optomec, Inc.

Metal 3D Printing Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 3.61 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 15.28 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 22.9% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Component, technology, application, vertical, software, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; South America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; Japan; China; India; South Korea; Singapore; Brazil

Key companies profiled

Materialise NV; 3D Systems, Inc.; GE Additive; Autodesk Inc.; Optomec, Inc.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

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 2017 to 2028. Additionally, the report covers shipment estimates and forecasts as well as ASP qualitative analysis from 2017 to 2028. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global metal 3D printing market report based on component, technology, software, application, vertical, and region:

  • Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Hardware

    • Software

    • Services

  • Technology Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Selective Laser Sintering

    • Direct Metal Laser Sintering

    • Inkjet Printing

    • Electron Beam Melting

    • Laser Metal Deposition

    • Laminated Object Manufacturing

    • Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication

    • Selective Laser Melting

  • Software Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Design Software

    • Inspection Software

    • Printer Software

    • Scanning Software

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Functional Parts

    • Tooling

    • Prototyping

  • Vertical Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Automotive

    • Aerospace & Defense

    • Healthcare

    • Consumer Electronics

    • Power & Energy

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • South Korea

      • Singapore

    • South America

      • Brazil

    • The Middle East & Africa

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