According to analyst firm IDC, global spending on 3D printing will experience a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3%, with revenues reaching $28.9 billion in 2020.
The US will deliver roughly a quarter of worldwide 3D printing revenues throughout the 2015-2020 forecast period while the next three largest regions – Western Europe, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), and Japan – combined will deliver more than 50% of total revenues.
While the fastest growth will come from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regions, Western Europe’s strong growth will significantly close the revenue gap with the United States by 2020.
In fact, five of the eight geographic regions will see total revenue growth of more than 200% over the five-year forecast period.
“As the 3D Printing market matures, major trends are no longer confined to North America. Regions like Western Europe and Asia-Pacific are driving stronger levels of spending across different industries,” said Christopher Chute, vice president at customer insights and analysis at IDC.
Discrete manufacturing is the dominant industry for 3D printing, delivering more than two thirds of all worldwide revenues through much of the forecast.
And while all the industries examined will experience revenue growth of more than 100% over the forecast period, healthcare will leap from the number 5 position in 2016 to the number 2 spot in 2020 with revenues growing to more than $3.1 billion. This move will be driven by strong investments from healthcare providers in both the United States and Western Europe.
“Thanks to the broader variety of 3D printers and materials that can be used, and also to lower prices, 3D printing is becoming more sophisticated and devoted to newer uses. In addition, existing use cases are increasing their market share.” said Carla La Croce, research analyst for customer insights and analysis at IDC.
“For example: dental printing is growing rapidly with the prospect of reaching one of the highest market shares in the near future (around 15% in 2020), as well as 3D printing for medical implants and devices (nearly 13% in 2020).
“Moreover, the 3D revolution is discovering new market niches, and new uses will arise in the future. IDC identifies the healthcare sector as the one with the highest growth potential.”
The use cases that will generate the largest revenues for 3D printing in 2016 are automotive design – rapid prototype printing (more than $3.9 billion) and aerospace and defense parts printing (nearly $2.4 billion).
Tools and component printing will also emerge as a significant market in 2016. By 2020, dental printing will become a strong challenger for the number 3 position in terms of worldwide revenues while medical implant and device printing, product creation and prototype printing, and prosthetics printing will each generate worldwide revenues of more than $1 billion.
Purchases of 3D printers and materials combined will produce nearly two thirds of total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast period.
Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth.
The gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customization in non-traditional environments.