3D printing market insights on its drivers, restraints and opportunity

3D printing was valued at $14 billion in 2021 and will reach $77.838 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 21%

3D printing is a process of creating a 3D object from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model or digital 3D model. It can be done using a variety of techniques that typically involve layer-by-layer combining, connecting, or hardening of materials under the control of a computer (such as fusing plastics, liquids, or powder grains). The market for 3D printing was valued at $14 billion in 2021 and will reach $77.838 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 21%


The ability to create extremely complex structures or geometrical figures, including hollow parts or portions with interior truss structures to reduce the weight that would typically be challenging to build by hand, is one of the main advantages and benefits of 3D printing. FDM (fused deposition modeling), an additive manufacturing technology that produces 3D components using continuous thermoplastic or composite material thread in the form of a filament, is expected to be the most widely used 3D printing technique by the year 2020.


Market drivers

Governments around the world are undertaking new initiatives and funding organizations that conduct research and develop technology to further explore the possibilities offered by 3D printing technology and promote its growth. National programs have been put in place by nations like the US, UK, and Canada to support university-level 3D printing research, advancing technology, and spawning start-ups. Industrialists and governments worldwide are becoming interested in 3D printing as new applications for technology emerge.


The high initial costs of this technology are said to be the main obstacle to its adoption. The cost of employee training, materials, certification, and education in additive manufacturing is included in this investment. Spending on hardware, software, and other components is also included. A 3D system setup costs significantly more than traditional printing methods and requires more resources.

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Key Opportunities

From its early applications in designing and prototyping, 3D printing is now primarily used to produce useful parts. Since 3D printing does not require tooling, unlike traditional manufacturing methods, it can help companies overcome problems like high tooling costs. Although the per-unit costs of conventional manufacturing would be lower, the high initial tooling costs make low-volume manufacturing more expensive. The layer-by-layer component creation process used in 3D printing also helps cut down on the waste produced during manufacturing. Mass customization, especially for small production runs, is another area where 3D printing excels over conventional manufacturing. According to a US survey, for instance, the increase in percentage from 14 percent in 2020 to 24 percent in 2021 is solely attributable to more companies switching to additive manufacturing (AM) for large-scale production runs of a variety of parts.

When making investments following COVID-19, organizations prioritize this technology over others, such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, robotics, and digital security, according to the report. This demonstrates that manufacturers’ increasing investments in 3D technology will drive market growth in the coming years.


Segmentation analysis

  • According to Software Insights, the printing software sector will account for more than 35% of global 3D printing market sales in 2021. It is expected to rule the global market throughout the projection period. Scanner, printer, design, and inception software are all software-based divisions of the 3D Printing market.
  • The industry is divided into three applications: prototyping, functional component manufacturing, and tooling. In 2021, prototyping dominated the market, accounting for more than half of the total revenue. In the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries, prototyping is widely used to build and design complex systems, components, and parts. Prototyping allows manufacturers to build and manufacture trustworthy final goods while also improving and improving precision.
  • In 2021, the automobile category, which dominated the market, accounted for more than 25% of total revenues on the basis of the end user.
  • In terms of components, the hardware market dominated the sector with a 60% market share in 2021. The market for specialized manufacturing methods and rapid prototyping has greatly aided the hardware industry.
  • Metal accounted for 55% of global sales by material type in 2021, dominating the 3D printing market. The metal category is predicted to grow at the highest CAGR and maintain its dominance over the anticipated timeframe.
  • In terms of technology, stereolithography held the top spot in 2021 and contributed more than 8% of global revenue.
  • According to the region, North America dominated the global market and produced more than 30% of the total revenue in 2021. This is a result of additive manufacturing (AM) being widely used in the region. Two examples of North American countries that were among the pioneers and early adopters of these systems in various manufacturing processes are the United States and Canada.

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Key Companies

  • Canon Inc.
  • Made in Space
  • 3D Systems, Inc.
  • Materialize
  • Envision Iec, Inc.
  • Stratasys, Ltd
  • Other players

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