20 percent growth in the next few years as well

by Thomas Masuch — 04/02/2019

IDC market research shows 3D printing is gaining more ground across several industries

For years now, what has been a pipe dream for other industries has been the norm for the AM industry. Every year the AM market impresses anew with growth rates of around 20 percent or more. Even if the reports about these success rates repeat themselves, they are still astonishing again and again. It has been a fact that the bigger the market, the harder it becomes to have a high percentage growth rate and maintain it consistently.

An analysis conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC), which has been used to update the Worldwide Semi-annual 3D Printing Spending Guide, confirms that the AM market will continue to grow at impressive rates in the coming years. According to this guide, annual spending on 3D printing (including hardware, materials, software, and services) is expected to grow from $14 billion today to $23 billion in 2022, an annual increase of approximately 20 percent.

Hardware and materials are important pillars

This forecast by IDC confirms the market assessment from the Wohlers Report 2018, which predicted growth to 27.3 billion in 2023, as shown in our » previous report.

According to IDC, hardware and materials are the most important pillars of the AM industries, accounting for about two-thirds of annual investments in additive manufacturing. According to another study carried out by the market research institute Context, industrial 3D printers (i.e., the hardware sector) are currently recording growth of 44 percent. The study refers to the number of sold systems and is not based on tunrover figures as other studies normally do.

»3D printing solutions are gaining traction outside of the traditional industries of aerospace and automotive manufacturing and healthcare,« said Marianne Daquila, research manager, Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC. Professional services and retail will be important growth areas.

wider adoption of 3D printing across numerous industries

»The emergence of higher speed 3D printers, production configurations, and the expanded range of materials available for 3D printing systems continue to enable wider adoption of 3D printing across numerous industries,« said Tim Greene, research director, Hardcopy Peripherals and 3D Printing. »The development of some of these new materials is critical, because it increases both adoption and utilization.« IDC expects revenue from 3D printed materials to surpass revenue from 3D printer hardware.

The United States will be the region with the largest spending total in 2019 ($5.4 billion) followed by Western Europe ($4.0 billion). Together, these two regions will provide nearly two thirds of all 3D printing spending throughout the forecast. China will be the third largest region with more than $1.9 billion in spending.