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3D printer demand to grow 24% annually to 2021

20 November 2017

Worldwide demand for 3D printers is projected to expand at a 24% annual pace to $5.4 billion in 2021.

The printer types driving growth in the developed markets of North America and Western Europe will be different than those in the emerging Asia/Pacific market. Developed region end users will increasingly shift to 3D printing for small-scale production applications, attracted by labour and material savings. In the Asia/Pacific region, particularly China, inexpensive desktop printers will record the most rapid growth, spurred by their low purchase price and extensive use in educational settings.

These and other trends are presented in Global 3D Printing Markets, 2nd Edition, a new study from The Freedonia Group.

In 2016, 3D printer demand was $1.8 billion. Prototyping printers accounted for 70% of all 3D printer demand in value terms, followed by production printers with 24%. According to analyst Zoe Biller, “Despite their dominance of unit sales, desktop printers only represented 6% of the printing hardware market in value terms.”

Through to 2021, overall printer demand will be driven by wider adoption of production and desktop printers. 3D printing for prototyping applications is relatively mature in the industries where it is already most widespread – automotive, aerospace, consumer product design, and healthcare.

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