The 3D printing market was valued at USD 13.7 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 63.46 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 29.48% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). 3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a technology that creates objects, as it offers a plethora of opportunities in the production, design, and performance of novel architectural forms, construction systems, and materials. It is an innovative, faster, and more agile method of product development and production.
- With rapid advancements in material composition, such as the emerging use cases of polymers and metals, additive manufacturing is evolving from a prototyping tool to a functional part of fabrication. New materials, shorter lead times, and innovative finishes while adhering to standards (FDA, ASTM, and ISO) are enabling the technology to be integrated into manufacturing processes.
- Further, the decreased prices of additive manufacturing-based machines and growing expertise and awareness have increased this technology's availability. Newer and advanced fused deposition modeling methods have enabled the use of diverse materials, thereby boosting widespread adoption across various industries over recent years.
- According to Essentium's survey in March 2019, the number of manufacturers using additive manufacturing for full-scale production doubled in 2019 as compared to 2018. Wider adoption of 3D printing was observed across sectors, as an increased number of industrial solutions were brought to market by manufacturers.
- Also, various technological advancements, such as AI and ML, are further augmenting the adoption of 3D Printing devices, as these technologies enable automated printing for efficient production. For instance, in November 2019, the UK-based company, Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), launched its new Digital Manufacturing Systems at Formnext 2019. It uses AMT's proprietary technology to provide an automated and digital solution for the entire manufacturing workflow.
- Governments worldwide have already started investing in R&D on 3D printing, which has had a positive impact on technology propagation and adoption. For instance, the Dutch government spent an additional USD 150 million in 3D printing-related research and innovation.
- However, as the technology advances, additive manufacturing may challenge the traditional forms of Intellectual Property (IP) protection and significantly boost illegal usage of printed weapons and drugs, which is expected to hinder the market's growth. Also, the market is constrained by the high costs of equipment needed to take to achieve substantial economies of scale. Furthermore, the lack of an international standards body regulating manufacturers also limits the market's standardization structure.
Key Market Trends
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Technology is Expected to Lead the Market
- Selective laser sintering (SLS) has been identified as the most preferred technology. It is expected to record the highest CAGR over the forecast period, owing to its various benefits over other technologies.
- SLS utilizes 12 powder nylon for raw material as a substitute to the photosensitive resin used in stereolithography. Companies and research organizations worldwide have been identified to take advantage of this material and technology to tackle concerns, such as the brittle nature of the resin when exposed to sunlight. In addition to that, SLS has also been proven to be cost and material-friendly, as it does not require any dedicated support structure post-printing. In addition to that, SLS provides enhanced durability and can perform and either functional parts or prototypes.
- SLS further finds a wide array of applications across various verticals, including aerospace and defense and automotive, among others. With space exploration witnessing a paradigm shift, the demand for SLS printing is expected to mount, with an increasing number of countries gearing up to launch satellites.
- In addition to that, SLS is also increasingly used in sports vehicles and electric cars. According to IEA, the global stock of electric passenger cars passed 5 million in 2018, increasing 63% from 2017. Leading automotive companies have increasingly utilized SLS 3D printing technology into EVs, which is expected to increase demand globally, driving growth.
- Furthermore, the market is witnessing a significant number of mergers and acquisitions, complementing the growth of SLS in the 3D printing market. For instance, in November 2019, Braskem, the polyolefins, and biopolymer producer and Advanced Laser Materials (ALM), an EOS Company, collaborated to develop innovative polyolefin-based powders Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) powder-bed 3D printing.
North America Holds the Largest Share in the Market
- The North American region is expected to dominate the 3D printing market as the region has dominated when it comes to technology adoption. According to the 3D printing Sentiment Index conducted by a desktop 3D printing company, Ultimaker, in November 2019, the United States leads as the most advanced country in 3D printing.
- A series of new product launches and product innovations and developments are expected to augment the market growth further. Several 3D printing solution providers worldwide are expanding their presence in the North American market for an enhanced market presence. For instance, in May 2019, Italian 3D printer manufacturer Roboze will showcase its high-temperature ROBOZE Xtreme series for the first time in North America at RAPID+TCT 2019.
- Also, there have been a series of new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions in North America to utilize the potential on offer through 3D printing. For instance, in May 2019, RAPLAS partnered with RP America to expand 3D printing technology to the North American market. The primary factor influencing the rise in investments has been the continuous evolution and application of new technologies exploring an untapped market in the manufacturing sector.
- The region is also witnessing a series of investments in the healthcare, aerospace and defense, industrial, and consumer products industries in North America, which are expected to grow significantly in the future. Various government organizations, such as NASA, have identified that substantial investments in 3D printing technologies can contribute considerably to space applications and develop zero-G technologies, driving the growth of the market.
- Fitness trackers and smart apparel are also expected to be driving factors for 3D printing technology in the United States. It is estimated that around 19% of the broadband households had a wearable fitness device. Also, changing consumer preferences and a rising need for customization have bought about a need to create a flexible band and electronics systems that could be realized using 3D printing technology, thereby driving its growth.
The 3D printing market is consolidated due to the majority of the market share is owned by top players in the industry. However, small and medium are upgrading their cloud services, but top players have gained a significant proportion of consumers and also investing huge for more developments and innovation. Some of the key players include Stratasys Ltd.,3D Systems Corporation, EOS GmbH, Electro-Optical Systems, Concept – Laser GmbH, Sisma SpA, ExOne Co., Arcam AB (GE Aviation), SLM Solutions Group AG, Hewlett Packard Inc., Materialise NV (ADR), and Proto Labs Inc., among others.
- August 2021 – ExOne announced the collaboration with Maxxwell Motors to develop 3D printed copper windings. This collaboration allows Maxxwell Motors to use a newly developed unique copper e-winding design in their innovative axial flux electric motors for electric cars, heavy-duty vehicles, and industrial devices.
- May 2021 – SLM Solutions announced a partnership with Solukon for depowdering systems; this partnership allows SLM Solution to utilize Solukon’s flagship machines for different post-processing parts produced in the additive manufacturing processes.
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1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitutes
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.4 Impact of Covid-19
5.1.1 Initiatives and Spending by the Government
5.1.2 Ease in Development of Customized Products
5.2 Market Challenges
5.2.1 High Initial Cost and Skill Shortage
6.1.1 Stereo Lithography (SLA)
6.1.2 Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
6.1.3 Electron Beam Melting
6.1.4 Digital Light Processing
6.1.5 Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
6.1.6 Other Technologies
6.2 By Material Type
6.2.4 Other Material Types
6.3 By End-user Industry
6.3.2 Aerospace and Defense
6.3.4 Construction and Architecture
6.3.7 Other End-user Industries
6.4 By Geography
6.4.1 North America
6.4.3 Asia Pacific
6.4.4 Rest of the World
7.1.1 Stratasys Ltd
7.1.2 3D Systems Corporation
7.1.3 EOS GmbH
7.1.4 General Electric Company (GE Additive)
7.1.5 Sisma SPA
7.1.6 ExOne Co.
7.1.7 SLM Solutions Group AG
7.1.8 Proto Labs Inc.
7.1.9 Hewlett Packard Inc.
7.1.10 Nano Dimernsion Ltd
7.1.11 Ultimaker BV
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Stratasys Ltd
- 3D Systems Corporation
- EOS GmbH
- General Electric Company (GE Additive)
- Sisma SPA
- ExOne Co.
- SLM Solutions Group AG
- Proto Labs Inc.
- Hewlett Packard Inc.
- Nano Dimernsion Ltd
- Ultimaker BV