According to IDC global 3D printing revenues will reach $35.4 billion in 2020-- a sum double the $15.9bn revenues forecast for 2016, and one representing a CAGR of 24.1% over the 2015-2020 period.
Around half of the revenues for the forecast are made by 3D printers and materials, but software and related services should also see "significant" growth. For instance, CAD software revenues are forecast to grow by 300% over the 5-year period, while on-dmeand parts services will nearly match such growth. Driving such results is the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products demanding a high degree of customisation in non-traditional environments.
"Customer spending on 3D printing capabilities is following the market away from mass market consumer printers towards holistic solutions that enable higher-end-– and more profitable-– use cases," the analyst says. "As the market for printers, materials and services matures, IDC expects new 3D printing capabilities to enable a next-wave of customer innovation in discrete manufacturing, product design, and life sciences."
IDC adds the global 3D printing market should continue expanding rapdily over the next several years, driven by the needs to reduce both manufacturing cycle times and prototyping costs. As a result 3D printer makers should explode, with various companies wanting a slice of a growing market through faster printers offering better quality output at lower costs.