3D printing – or additive manufacturing – technology has been available since the 1980s. But it has only come to the fore in the past decade, as the varied range of new 3D printing (3DP) products has convinced businesses that the technology could prove a real game changer.
While businesses are recognizing this fact, few of them have the resources and know-how to make 3DP technologies internal to their operations. Faced with this huge variety of 3DP solutions, many businesses lack the knowledge and confidence to identify the right technology, application and use for their needs.
Meanwhile, consumers are starting to catch on to the potential 3DP can make in their own lives, the products they purchase and consume, but for them the learning curve facing businesses grappling with the best way to harness the potential of 3DP is even greater.
The upshot is a multi-billion opportunity for businesses that can provide the infrastructure, expertise, education and support to enable businesses and consumers to make 3DP a reality in meeting their objectives and strategic vision, from bringing new products to market, to re-imagining a way to make a gift for a loved one’s birthday.
Wohlers Associates reports :
• The 3DP industry, consisting of all 3DP products and services worldwide, grew 21% to $7.3 billion in 2017, from $6 billion in 2016;
• the 3DP industry is greater than with 1,768 metal 3DP systems sold in 2017 compared to 983 systems in 2016,
• 135 companies globally produced and sold industrial 3DP systems in 2017 compared to 97 companies in 2016,
• In 2017, 528,952 desktop 3DP printers (under $5,000) were sold, compared to 278,000 in 2015 and
• Revenues from the desktop segment are estimated to be well over $500 million in 2017.
And a recent survey released by Sculpteo reports the following findings:
• 70% of respondents increased their expenses in 3DP in 2017 (up from 49% last year), and
• 74% said their competitors also used 3DP (up from 59% last year).
We believe consumer and business applications for 3DP services are ubiquitous and will take a meaningful share of the $70+ trillion global economy.