The significant growth expected on the global 3D printing market by 2020

According to a recent survey by researcher International Data Corporation (IDC), the global 3D printing market is expected to register a significant growth in the next four years and to hit $35 billion until 2020, which is more than double the $15.9 billion in revenues forecast for 2016 and represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.1% over the 2015-2020 forecast period.
According to the market-research firm, while 3D printers and materials will represent nearly half the total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast, software and related services will also experience significant growth.
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 customization in non-traditional environments, states 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,” said Christopher Chute, vice president, Customer Insights, IDC.
But revenues from consumer 3D printing will grow modestly as this market has already matured, said the report. The use cases that will generate the largest revenues for 3D printing in 2016 are Automotive Design and Aerospace and Defense Parts Printing. Dental Printing has also emerged as a strong opportunity in 2016.
Manufacturing innovation has been the key driver behind the overall 3D printing market, according to IDC. Given the increased use of 3D printing for prototyping and parts production, it says it comes as “no surprise” that discrete manufacturing will continue to be the leading industry, generating 56% of worldwide 3D-printing revenues in 2016.
“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,” said the program vice president of IDC’s research.
“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.”
Meanwhile, an Italian-based 3D developer WASP (The World’s Advanced Saving Project) has unveiled the ‘world’s largest’ 3D printer (pictured), which can build full-size buildings out of mud and clay. The massive Big Delta printer stands 12 metres tall.
Founder Massimo Moretti says he launched WASP to build “zero-mile” homes, using materials found in the surrounding area, with the goal to “create a means for affordable fabrication of homes and provide these means to the locals in poverty stricken areas.”


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