Global spending on 3D printing will grow at a 27 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from nearly $US11 billion in 2015 to $26.7 billion in 2019.
“3D printing has been a mainstay in specialised discrete manufacturing markets like automotive and aerospace for many years,” says Christopher Chute, Vice President, Consumer Insights and Analysis Group, IDC.
“However, in just the past three years, lower-priced 3D printers and affordable materials have dramatically widened the market for 3D printing to now enable consumer, education, healthcare and additional manufacturing markets.
“That said, 3D printing availability doesn't translate similarly across industries.
"Vendors and service providers need to understand how differences in use cases, materials cost, and end customer expectation are uniquely shaping each market.”
IDC research suggests that in 2016 and beyond, the technologies that enable 3D printing continue to develop and expand in nearly every direction.
“These technologies can help deliver larger, more accurate, and more solidly built models in a fraction of the time,” adds Tim Greene, Research Director, Hardcopy Solutions, IDC.
IDC's 3D printing research indicates that the 3D printer market is “primed and ready” for greater mainstream adoption.
“There is strong appeal for this technology across several markets, and regions,” adds Keith Kmetz, Program Vice President of Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions research, IDC.
Looking ahead, IDC expects that key regions and vertical industries will drive this high rate of growth and provide a transformative effect on how previously mass-produced goods can now be customised for individual needs and requirements.
While emerging markets will represent a growth opportunity, IDC expects that Asia/Pacific, the United States, and Western Europe will grow their aggregate share of global spending from 59.2 percent in 2014 to 70 percent by 2019, as China in particular becomes a leading market for 3D printing hardware and services.