U.S. 3D-Printer Market is ‘White Hot,’ According to New Research from IDC

dremel 3d printer

The U.S. 3D-printer market remains “white hot,” fueled by the explosion of 3D-printer manufacturers from around the world that are setting their sights squarely on the United States, according to new research from IT market-research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). According to IDC, the United States is the world’s largest market for 3D printers, with hardware revenues expected to approach $1.5 billion by 2019.

The increasing demand to reduce manufacturing cycle times and to reduce prototyping costs are major drivers of 3D printing, says IDC. “The technologies that enable 3D printing continue to develop and expand in nearly every direction,” commented Tim Greene, research director for IDC’s Hardcopy Solutions groups. “These technologies can help deliver larger, more accurate, and more solidly built models in a fraction of the time.”

In terms of shipments, fused deposition modeling (FDM/FFF) is the largest technology within the 3D-printing market, and there has been some explosive growth among suppliers of FDM/FFF printers. Additionally, according to IDC, the emergence of dual-extrusion printing, offered by an increasing number of suppliers, is gaining significant traction, as this technology can effectively double the build speed.

Additional findings from IDC’s research include:

  • With key patents expiring in 2014, stereolithography (SLA) technologies, which offer the potential to increase speed and build size, are being more widely explored.
  • FDM/FFF and SLA are by far the two largest 3D-printer segments in terms of shipments.
  • The entry of new players such as Hewlett-Packard in the MultiJet/PolyJet technology segment will fuel a growth rate of more than 30 percent per year between 2014 and 2019.
  • The smallest but the fastest-growing technology segment is selective laser sintering (SLS).

The IDC study, U.S. 3D Printer Forecast, 2015–2019 (Doc #258875), covers 3D-printer shipments and the revenue derived from those shipments through the year 2019. This covers a very interesting and dynamic phase of the market, with competitive technologies and a vast array of suppliers influencing the market. The IDC market-sizing and forecasts are presented in terms of shipments of new printers and the revenue derived from the sale of those units. IDC calculates the revenue opportunity by multiplying the number of printer shipments by the selling price of those printers. IDC says it’s has rigorously examined the product lines of more than 150 3D-printer manufacturers that participate in the United States and global market.

Look for IDC’s worldwide 3D printer forecast by region coming in December 2015.

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