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The importance of the 3D printing market. A quick look to understand it

3D printing Market

  The hype of the 3D printers technology use is on the rise, or at least that’s what we all feel. Everybody talks about 3D printing technology, and all the pros that come with it, because of the way this technology works, we can clearly -as professionals of the design- perceive how can we use this technology to build better things. But in reality, What do the numbers say? How the 3D printing market is really behaving? and why is it important to understand this?

Why is important to understand the 3D printing market?

   Having a broader picture of any market of any industry lets you know where are you stand when it comes to your project. It is not just a money thing, although one main metric of markets are measures linked to money, understanding the markets also lets you know what people are doing, and where they are building value, and where they want to build value in the future. Let’s not forget that once this technology was relatively unknown and expensive, but it didn’t stop the people of this industry to build value around it, and make it affordable for most. 

   For example, if you are working on a short-term project, understanding the 3D market will let you know which technique is the cheaper at the ***And by not compromising the quality of the outcome*** you will have a broader picture to help you make a better choice. If you are working on a long-term project, depending on the time you expect to spend, understanding the trends will help you choose a technique that will become cheaper in the future. In the end, it will always require a little amount of effort and research to have a broad picture of what you would like to know. 

What is the value of the 3D printing market today?

   The experts of IDC have placed the value of the 3D printing market on $13.8 Billion dollars by 2019. The same report, claims that this market will increase its value to $22.7 Billion dollars by 2022 with a 19.1% CAGR in a five year period.

. Another report made by Wohlers and reported on Forbes has placed the value of this market by 2020 on $15.8 Billion and they expect that the 3D printing market will be rise to $23.9 Billion by 2022 and $35.6 Billion by 2024. 

   What do these numbers tell us?

   People are building value around this technology and will continue to invest their value in the next years. These are numbers from the global market, so perhaps you might wonder depending on your geographic interest, what are the countries with the higher and lower shared of the market? this could help you to decide whether to place your 3D models if you are a 3D modeler hobbyist and want to make a profit out of it using your Solidface license.

   Going back to the question, who has the highest share on the 3D printing market in 2019? Well, according to IDC The US places first wit $5.0 Billion, followed by Western Europe with $3.6 billion and China place 3rd with its market value nearly $2.0 Billion. But in terms of CAGR, Latin America will experience the highest rate with 25.3% and followed by China with 21.6%. But again, how could these numbers be helpful for a designer or an engineer? Well, it depends on what you are doing, if you are a professional looking to work within this industry, well, you now know the regions that have the best numbers and where the technology is growing but probably they’ll be the most competitive ones. All it is reduced to what you look for, so understanding that prior hand will help you make the right choice because there’s A LOT of market data. Only Wohler reports have 369 pages of data and market analysis according to the Forbes report, so yes, it is necessary to know prior-hand what you look for when researching for market stats.  

What new technologies/formats are expected to rise in the future years? 

   According to the experts of Markets and Markets, Metal 3D printing with DMLS will have the biggest share of the market by 2024 inside this technology. We reviewed in the prior post the pros, cons, and considerations of using 3D metal printing. We stated that costs were a main issue, but this new market stat might bring hope for the future in this particular sector of 3D printing technology. Having a big share of the market will attract new players that will constantly will looking to improve things for the technology, and that might represent lowering technology costs, and for all of us engineers and designer, having more economic access is a boost.

   CNC machines Global Market is still growing, right now the market is valued at 63.16 billion, this let us know that there is still a lot of room that 3D printers can fill. How are we so sure the 3D printers market will surpass the CNC market? Right now the CNC market is expected to have a 7.0% CAGR in the next five years, that’s one-third of the increase expected for the 3D printing process. With a quick calculus, this trend in the growth rate will let us know that in 15 years, CNC global market will be surpassed by the 3D printers market.  


   We all felt that 3D additive manufacturing was on the rise, but now we know for sure thanks to the market numbers. A lot more specific market measurements exist and we might be reviewing them in future articles, but at the end of the day, what it matters is what you look for. Doing yourself the right questions is a thing you must do, in order to research specific market numbers and not losing yourself in the process with all the information. Right now, that 3D printing market is rising at a great pace, it is necessary to understand the importance and how to use this numbers to improve your project’s outcome, and be sure also we, the Solidface team will keep our software updated to help you with your 3D printing projects when you need it.


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