According to a report by market research company IDC, 3D printer shipments in the United States are forecasted to grow at a CAGR of more than 16% through 2020. Comparing 2014 to 2015, shipments grew by 20%.
Tim Greene, research director for Hardcopy Solutions, explains: “People and companies that are adopting 3D printers are routinely realizing tremendous time and cost savings in their product creation and development cycles. As printer speeds increase and the range of materials expands, a growing number of products and parts, and therefore markets, will be impacted by 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Already the 3D printer mix in the U.S. has changed over the last 12-24 months. While there are still a lot of shipments into the DIY/consumer market, tremendous growth remains in the segments with a more professional and manufacturing orientation. Leading 3D printer manufacturers are adopting new processes throughout their operations to reposition their businesses for this change.”
IDC expects a growth of more than 20% in the segment for professional 3D printers, while shipments of consumer devices priced under $ 1,000 – mostly based on FFF technology – are projected to grow at over 12% through 2020. The report also forecasts the very high-end of the market to grow significantly, with sintering/melting as well as material jetting technologies to be used by a growing number of companies for on-demand manufacturing and high-volume prototyping.
IDC took also a closer look at the different technologies involved. FFF/FDM printers accounted for over three quarters of the total shipments in 2015 and are expected make up less than 60% by 2020. SLA-based printers are forecasted to grow from 11% in 2015 to over 20% by 2020. Sintering and melting technologies will see a dynamic growth over the next years, along with material jetting technologies dominated by market leaders 3D Systems, Stratasys and HP. Hewlett Packard has only recently launched their first 3D printer working with Multi Jet Fusion technology. Mcor’s paper 3D printer working with Select Deposition Lamination technology, repositioned at a lower price point, is expected to drive higher shipment levels across a wide range of vertical segments.
“The growth of the 3D printer hardware market is just part of the total 3D printing/additive manufacturing picture,” added Greene. “Printer hardware revenue combined with the expansion of 3D printing services and the consumption of materials already represent a $2.5 billion market in the U.S. in 2015, and that is expected to grow at a rate of more than 20% through 2020.”
The full report titled U.S. 3D Printer Forecast, 2016-2020: New 3D Print/Additive Manufacturing Technologies Fuel Growth, is available here.