Market research company IDC forecasts global revenues related to the 3D printing market to reach $ 35.4 billion in 2020. This amount accounts for more than double of the $ 15.9 billion revenue forecasted for 2016 and indicates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.1% from 2015 to 2020.
According to the Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide, 3D printers and materials will represent nearly half of the total revenues, with software and related services experiences a significant growth. CAD software and on-demand printing services revenues are expected to triple over the forecast period, driven by the rapidly expanding use of the technology for prototyping and customised products.
Automotive design and rapid prototyping will generate the largest revenues in 2016, with over $ 4 billion, followed by 3D printed components for aerospace and defence with nearly $ 2.4 billion. IDC also mentions dental printing as one of the emerging opportunities in 2016.
“Customer spending on 3D printing capabilities is following the market away from mass market consumer printers towards holistic solutions that enable higher-end – and more profitable – use cases,” explains Christopher Chute, Vice President Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC. “As the market for printers, materials and services matures, IDC expects new 3D printing capabilities to enable a next-wave of customer innovation in discrete manufacturing, product design, and life sciences.”
The increased use of additive manufacturing for prototyping and parts production has been the key driver for the market and will continue to lead the industry by generating 56% of worldwide revenues in 2016, followed by healthcare and professional services in second and third position. Retail will experience the greatest revenue growth, ranking forth.
Keith Kmetz, Program Vice President of IDC’s Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions research stated: “IDC expects the worldwide 3D printing market to continue its rapid expansion over the next several years, driven by the need to reduce manufacturing cycle times and to reduce prototyping costs. This growth will be fueled by an explosion of 3D printer manufacturers from around the world, seeking to capitalize on the anticipated growth in this market with faster printers that offer better quality output at lower prices.”