Global 3D-printer market on track for 42% CAGR for next 5 years

After struggling in 2015 and 2016, the industrial/professional 3D-printer sector is set to grow by 16% this year, and the personal/desktop* printer market is on track for 40% growth.

London, Pittsburgh, 9th May 2017 – Worldwide 3D-printer shipments are set to rise 39% in 2017 and show a 42% CAGR over the next five years according to the latest figures from CONTEXT, the global-market research firm. These latest stats were released at this year’s RAPID + TCT event..

“In the Industrial/Professional printer segment, we are continuing to see increasing demand for metal 3D printers, for polymer-resin printers for the dental industry, and for both powder-polymer and resinpolymer systems for use in light to mid-range manufacturing” says Chris Connery, vice president of Global Analysis at CONTEXT. “Demand for personal/desktop printers continues to increase in the professional, educational and hobbyist markets and now, more and more, also from the low-end professional prototyping market.” Revenues from all printer shipments are forecast to show a fiveyear CAGR of 33% from 2016 to 2021 with industrial/professional printers continuing to drive market revenues (accounting for over 80% of global revenues) while personal/desktop printers drive unit volumes.

 

Figure: Global 3D-Printer Revenue Forecast by Major Market Segment 2016–2021

After not meeting forecast values in the last two years – and actually seeing two consecutive years of negative growth – the industrial/professional 3D-printer market looks set to rebound in 2017 and see 16% growth. There were strong shipments of stereolithography systems at the end of 2016 and this trend is continuing into 2017. This is exemplified by the increasing sales from companies such as EnvisionTEC in the dental sector, and the announcement by Carbon that their technology is to be used in the production of a new line of Adidas running shoes. Industry stalwarts like 3D Systems continue to champion the use of polymer systems in light production and their Figure-4 technology looks as if it will push further into the market in 2017. With continued strong demand in the aerospace, medical and automotive markets, metal 3D-printer makers GE Additive, EOS, SLM Solutions and others are on track to continue to build upon the momentum of 2016’s 18% rise in metal 3D-printer shipments.

 

Personal/desktop printers have yet to catch on with general consumers, but commercial and education users – as well as hobbyists – continue to drive this market which is still outpacing expectations, rising 32% from 2015 to 2016. As low-end-professional extrusion printers shift into this category, there is additional demand from the prototyping market. Unit volumes continue to be dominated by plastic material-extrusion printers and this technology is set to continue to lead for the next five years.

About CONTEXT

CONTEXT’s market intelligence, performance benchmarks and opportunity analysis empower clients to optimise operations and accelerate tomorrow’s revenues. With over 30 years of industry partnership and of experience reporting on large datasets, CONTEXT delivers analytics at all points in the value chain, providing clients with actionable insights rooted in concrete data and a profound understanding of customer needs. CONTEXT is headquartered in London, with over 250 staff across the world and in 2017 was 2017 recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ by Great Place to Work®. SOURCE CONTEXT

* Personal/Desktop 3D Printers are generally defined as those selling at or below US$5,000.


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