(EnergyIndustry.Net, August 04, 2022 ) According to a new market research report titled “3D Printing Market by Type (Industrial, Desktop), Technology (FDM, SLS, SLA, EBM), Material Usage (Metal, Polymer, Ceramics), End-Use Application (Industrial [Consumer Products, Medical, R&D], Service Providers), and Geography - Global Forecasts to 2028”, published by Meticulous Research®, the 3D printers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.9% from 2021 to 2028 to reach $23.9 billion by 2028.
3D printers are part of the additive manufacturing process that includes a printing device to print different objects ranging from various shapes and sizes. 3D printers are largely classified under industrial-level 3D printers and desktop-level 3D printers. The industrial level 3D printers are bulky and highly advanced, while desktop 3D printers are compact and less expensive than industrial printers. The major differences between these two printers are in terms of costs, capabilities, and applications. 3D printers are mainly utilized for industrial applications and also for leisure or educational purposes by home users.
Rising demand for manufacturing complex parts, reducing manufacturing expenses and minimizing waste, and improvements in product development and supply chains are the key factors driving the growth of this market. Additionally, the use of 3D printing for functional end-use parts and composite 3D printing offer lucrative opportunities for this market’s growth.
However, restrictions in build sizes and the high cost of pre-and post-processing factors restrain the growth of this market. This market also faces several challenges, including copyright issues and lack of awareness and demand for highly skilled professionals.
Impact of COVID-19 on the 3D printing market
The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted several sectors, including the industrial sector, with major manufacturers either shutting down their operations completely or operating at reduced capacities following the directives issued by their respective governments. Uncertainty regarding the duration of the lockdown and supply-chain disruptions made it more difficult for industry players to anticipate the recovery. This crisis caused structural shifts that had significant implications on the market.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a mixed impact on the usage of 3D printers across different applications. The 3D printers market was highly affected in terms of professional 3D printing and enterprise 3D printing, including several industrial manufacturers and verticals such as aerospace, automotive, energy, power, semiconductor and electronics, and others.
However, a few of the industries, including research & development and medical, flourished during the period as these were capable of boosting their production using 3D printers to meet the emergency demand. On the other hand, low-cost 3D printers for designers, hobbyists, and desktop printers recorded higher sales than in 2019. Since numerous executives shifted to a work-from-home model, setting up a desktop 3D printer was easier and more convenient to conduct research operations. Additionally, there were also instances where hobbyists helped print PPE kits and masks to help the local community. Although the manufacturing of 3D printers was slowed down during the first three months of the pandemic, it had caused a widespread economic breakdown across several countries, trade routes, and global supply chains.
Major end-use industries of 3D printers, including manufacturing, aerospace, defense, electronics, and consumer goods, were severely impacted due to disruptions in the supply chain. However, numerous companies took this as an opportunity and utilized 3D printing service providers to print spare parts, fixtures, joints, and jigs at or near to the actual site, which enabled companies to reduce the cost of transportation, import, and other taxes.
3D Printers Market Overview
The 3D printing market is segmented based on type, technology, material usage, end-use applications, and geography. The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyzes the market at the country level.
Based on type, in 2021, the industrial 3D printers segment is expected to account for the larger share of the overall 3D printers market. The large market share of this segment is attributed to its ability to create functional, full-scale objects ranging from end-use products to high-strength industrial tools. Industrial 3D printers are designed for professional and industrial usage, from rapid prototyping to direct manufacturing. However, the desktop 3D printers segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to the rising adoption of compact and advanced desktop printers after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several 3D printing enthusiasts, hobbyists, and small manufacturers have utilized desktop 3D printers, contributing to the high market growth of this segment.
Based on technology, in 2021, the fused deposition modeling (FDM) segment is expected to command the largest share of the overall 3D printers market. The large market share of this segment is attributed to its affordability and its capability to create complex and customized shapes for the automotive and aerospace industries. FDM is used to build durable production parts for low-volume and short-run production applications. However, the electron-beam melting (EBM) segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is attributed to its advanced 3D printing method to produce low-cost and efficient metal parts for high-end prototyping and small series production. EBM is used for precisely cutting or boring metals to allow for a better surface finish.
Based on material usage, in 2021, the polymer segment is expected to command the largest share of the overall 3D printers market. The large market share of this segment is primarily attributed to its capability to print low-cost, functional parts with diverse properties and capabilities. Polymer is used in several sectors, from 3D printed surgical guides and tools to replicas of human organs for pre-surgical planning. However, the ceramic segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this segment is mainly attributed to the rapid usage of ceramic for manufacturing 3D-printed ceramic decorative items such as vases, bowls, and sculptures. Additionally, the usage of ceramics has also gained popularity in the electronics and semiconductor industry and can be used to print desired shapes from a mixture of powder with or without binders.
Based on end-use applications, the 3D printers market is segmented into industrial and 3D printing service providers. In 2021, the industrial segment is expected to account for the larger share of the overall 3D printers market. The large market share of this segment is attributed to the higher usage of 3D printers for printing jigs, fixtures, parts, and spares at lower costs and reduced complexity.
Based on geography, the North American region is estimated to account for the largest share of the global 3D printers market in 2021. The large market share of this region is mainly attributed to the rising adoption of 3D printers in the healthcare, consumer electronics, aerospace & defense, and automotive sectors and increasing collaborations and investments by enterprises for the development of advanced 3D printers capable of utilizing different materials. Additionally, several companies in the region have set up 3D printing facilities to cater to the growing demand. Furthermore, several local players in the 3D printing space are collaborating with aerospace and defense companies to produce 3D printing technologies to manufacture high-performance components for the aerospace and defense sectors.
However, Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. The high market growth rate of this region is attributed to the rapid developments in the manufacturing sector in Asia-Pacific with growing interests in new technologies for efficient production. Additionally, increased digitization has fueled the growth and adoption of 3D printers for end-use industries such as consumer goods, construction, medical, electronics and semiconductor, and research and education.
The key players operating in the global 3D printing market are Stratasys Ltd. (Israel), EOS GmbH (Germany), GE Additive (U.S.), HP Inc. (U.S.), 3D Systems Corporation (U.S.), DMG Mori Company Limited (Japan), Renishaw Plc (U.K.), Formlabs Inc. (U.S.), Carbon Inc. (U.S.), Trumpf GmbH + Co. KG (Germany), Markforged Inc. (U.S.), XYZPrinting Inc. (Taiwan), The Exone Company (U.S.), Voxeljet AG (Germany), Desktop Metal Inc. (U.S.), Fusion3 Design, LLC (U.S.), and DWS s.r.l (Italy) among others.