Worldwide purchases of 3D printers, materials, software, and related services are expected to total $13.2 billion in 2016. According to a recent update to the Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on 3D printing will experience a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3 per cent with revenues reaching $28.9 billion in 2020.
The United States will deliver roughly a quarter of worldwide 3D printing revenues throughout the 2015-2020 forecast period while the next three largest regions – Western Europe, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), and Japan – combined will deliver more than 50 per cent of total revenues.
While the fastest growth will come from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regions, Western Europe’s strong growth will significantly close the revenue gap with the United States by 2020. In fact, five of the eight geographic regions covered in the Spending Guide will see total revenue growth of more than 200 per cent over the five-year forecast period.
“As the 3D printing market matures, major trends are no longer confined to North America. Regions like Western Europe and Asia/Pacific are driving stronger levels of spending across different industries,” said Christopher Chute, VP, customer insights and analysis at IDC.
Discrete manufacturing is the dominant industry for 3D printing, delivering more than two thirds of all worldwide revenues through much of the forecast. And while all the industries examined in the Spending Guide will experience revenue growth of more than 100 per cent over the forecast period, healthcare will leap from the number five position in 2016 to the number two spot in 2020 with revenues growing to more than $3.1 billion. This move will be driven by strong investments from healthcare providers in both the United States and Western Europe.
“Thanks to the broader variety of 3D printers and materials that can be used, and also to lower prices, 3D printing is becoming more sophisticated and devoted to newer uses. In addition, existing use cases are increasing their market share,” said Carla La Croce, research analyst, customer insights and analysis.
For example, according to La Croce, dental printing is growing rapidly with the prospect of reaching one of the highest market shares in the near future (around 15 per cent in 2020), as well as 3D printing for medical implants and devices (nearly 13 per cent in 2020). Moreover, the 3D revolution is discovering new market niches, and new uses will arise in the future. IDC identifies the healthcare sector as the one with the highest growth potential.
The use cases that will generate the largest revenues for 3D printing in 2016 are automotive design – rapid prototype printing (more than $3.9 billion) and aerospace and defense parts printing (nearly $2.4 billion). Tools and component printing will also emerge as a significant market in 2016.
By 2020, dental printing will become a strong challenger for the number three position in terms of worldwide revenues while medical implant & device printing, product creation and prototype printing, and prosthetics printing will each generate worldwide revenues of more than $1 billion.
Purchases of 3D printers and materials combined will produce nearly two thirds of total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast period. Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth.
The gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customisation in non-traditional environments.
The Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide quantifies the opportunity for 3D printers, which enable the creation of objects and shapes made through material that is laid down successively upon itself from a digital model or file.
Revenue data is available for more than 20 use cases across 20 industries in eight regions. Data is also available for 3D printing hardware, materials, software, and services. Unlike any other research in the industry, the comprehensive spending guide was designed to help IT decision makers to clearly understand the industry-specific scope and direction of 3D printing expenditures today and over the next five years.