CCS Insight Expects Strong Growth of 60% per Year to Deliver 850,000 Unit Sales in 2018
27 October 2014, London: Global 3D printing market is set to grow from $1.15 billion in 2013 to $4.8 billion in 2018, according to a new forecast by global technology analyst company CCS Insight. Industrial systems, which consist of machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars used for manufacturing and prototyping in the automotive, airspace, healthcare and other industries, will provide over 75% of revenue. However, smaller and less costly business desktop and consumer 3D printers will drive total unit sales from 81,000 in 2013 to almost 850,000 in 2018.
The new forecast, which looks at projections of the global 3D printer market, expects sales to reach 158,000 devices by the end of 2014. This is up 93% from 2013, delivering manufacturing revenue of $1.6 billion. Industrial 3D printers will see steady growth of 30% in 2014 over 2013. Business desktop and consumer 3D printer sales will more than double through the year and will account for nine out of ten 3D systems sold in 2014. Growth is driven mostly by the education sector (schools and public libraries), while household ownership is mainly limited to individual hobbyists.
Although industrial 3D printers are on a stable growth trajectory, question marks about consumer adoption and household ownership of 3D printers remain.
Arnaud Gagneux, VP Technology Transformation at CCS Insight, commented: “Consumers will only buy 3D printers if they can see a clear use for them. To drive mass sales, manufacturers need to change the perception that 3D printers are simply a bit of fun and create sustainable demand beyond just an occasional need.” Continuing, Gagneux observes “Current 3D printing technology relies on understanding complex user interfaces, many of which are well beyond casual users, so it remains to be seen how quickly 3D printers will be adopted by households over the next five years.”
Arnaud Gagneux notes: “The consumer and desktop 3D printer market is still in its infancy and we expect many positive disruptions in coming years. As major consumer brands enter the space and as 3D printers are more heavily marketed and available in more places, awareness will grow.” Gagneux continues: “We expect more and more smartphones, tablets and PCs to come with 3D scanning abilities. This will make 3D printers more attractive by simplifying the process of rendering something you want to print and overcoming the need for extensive libraries of blueprints.”
CCS Insight’s forecast identifies North America as the largest market for 3D printers at present, and it will remain so for the next four years, accounting for almost half of industry revenue in 2018. In European and Asian markets progress will be slower, owing to lower awareness and less-developed distribution of desktop and consumer 3D printers and a continued challenging economic environment. However, investment in digital economy initiatives by European and Asian governments, combined with the expected development of the 3D printing and scanning technology, will create strong momentum in these regions in the near future.
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About CCS Insight
CCS Insight is a global technology analyst company focussing on the mobile, Internet and media industries. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow CCS Insight on Twitter.
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