The global 3D printing market was estimated to be USD 2,183 million in 2012, and is expected to reach USD 8,675.7 million by 2020, as per a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. The ability to facilitate low-volume manufacturing in a cost-effective manner is expected to fuel the market over the next few years. Further, the report analyzes that the growing need for flexible and customized products is expected to positively impact demand for 3D printing.
Automotive and healthcare industries in particular, are estimated to be key growth areas for revenue generation. Automotive is expected to be the largest and fastest growing application, with an estimated CAGR of 19.6% from 2013 to 2020. The market for medical applications was valued at USD 397.2 million in 2012, with dental applications expected to contribute largely to this segment. Concerns over protection of intellectual property from products manufactured using 3D printing are expected to restrain the industry from reaching its target potential. Backward integration in the value chain in terms of acquisitions of software 3D designing participants has been analyzed to be an opportunity for gaining competitive advantage.
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Further key findings from the study suggest:
- North America led the market, with approximately 42% of the overall market share in 2012
- Europe is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 20.4% from 2013 to 2020, which can primarily be attributed to increase in funding from regulatory bodies. Furthermore, increasing investment in research and development are expected to be favorable factors for market expansion in this region
- In terms of raw material used for manufacturing, polymers are expected to dominate the market, and accounted for more than 35% of the overall revenue in 2012
- The industry is moderately consolidated, with mergers and acquisitions emerging as the key growth strategy. Major industry participants include Stratasys Inc., 3D Systems Corporation, Envisiontec GmbH, and Materialise NV among others.