Boston, MA - Driven primarily by growth in aerospace, medical, automotive, consumer products, architecture, and electronics, the total 3D printing market will nearly quadruple to $12 billion in 2025, according to a report by Lux Research. Printers alone will be worth $3.2 billion, while $2 billion will represent formulated materials; $7 billion will come from the value of parts produced, according to Lux’s model.
Lux Research analysts developed a model incorporating industry-specific material and market requirements, historical adoption rates of new materials, and inputs from interviews with nearly 100 entities throughout the 3D printing value chain. Findings include that:
- The razor/blade model is a hurdle. Much like conventional 2D printer makers, 3D printer companies often sell formulated materials at a steep mark-up (10–100X). This approach was tolerable when companies only used 3D printers for prototyping, but it remains a major impediment to the use of 3DP for production parts, as leaders such as 3D Systems, Stratasys, and EOS restrict third-party materials suppliers from entering the market.
- Four printer companies dominate the market. On the Lux Innovation Grid, only four printer companies placed in the “Dominant” category based on technical and business scores: 3D Systems, Stratasys, EOS, and Arcam. The four hold a combined 31 percent printer market share. Of these, Arcam is distinguished by its open materials supply model. Among independent materials suppliers, a clutch of companies—including Raymor Industries, Taulman 3D, Made Solid, and Ceralink—offers “high potential,” but none is dominant.
- Expiring patents will trigger growth. In 2006, expiration of several early patent families enabled the emergence of lower-cost desktop printers from companies like Makerbot, as well as consumer-facing 3D printing services like Shapeways, raising popular interest in the technology. An even bigger shift is coming as patents on other key 3D printing technologies start to expire over the next three years, lowering costs for those methods and widening the range of capabilities available to users.
To view the report, titled “How 3D Printing Adds Up: Emerging Materials, Processes, Applications, and Business Models,” please visit https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/research/report_excerpt/16609.