Constantly evolving value chains, market innovations, and cutting-edge technology developments have pushed 3D printing into the mainstream market. This type of production has surged in recent years, and a growing number of businesses use 3D printing solutions, allowing speed and flexibility while reducing costs.
However, in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, 3D printing has also become a vital technology to support improved healthcare and general response to the emergency. Moreover, the crisis has highlighted how 3D printing can be the basis of a greener and more environmentally friendly future.
According to data presented by Stock Apps, global 3D printing revenues are expected to double in the following years, hitting a $25bn value by 2024.
Research and End-Use Parts Main Reasons for Using 3D Printers
3D printing enables the production of complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods, which is why it is widely used for small production runs, prototyping, small business, and educational use. Thanks to the possibility to produce parts on demand, it can significantly reduce waste and inventory.
In 2020, the global 3D printing industry hit $12.6bn value, revealed Additive Manufacturing Trend Report 2021. Over the next twelve months, 3D printing revenues are expected to jump by nearly 40% to $17.6bn. Statistics indicate the strong upward trend is set to continue in the following years, with revenues rising by 43% by 2024. By 2026, the entire sector is forecast to hit a $37.2bn value.
The State of 3D Printing Report by Sculpteo also revealed that in 2021, the most popular use case of 3D printing was research among 60% of those asked. Another 52% of companies and businesses used the technology for end-use mechanical parts and end-use consumer goods. Statistics show 32% of companies used 3D printing for tooling, while 27% of respondents used it for replacement parts.
The survey also showed that 36% of those asked said that speeding up product development is one of the main reasons they use 3D. Offering customized products and limited series ranked as the second most important reason for using the process. Increasing production flexibility was third among 12% of respondents.
61% of Companies to Increase 3D Printing Investments
The Sculpteo data also revealed that in 2020, 67% of respondents spent between $1,000 and $50,000 on 3D printing. A further 10% claimed they had spent between $50,000 and $100,000 on the technology, while another 23% spent more than $100,000.
However, 61% of users said they would increase their 3D printing investment even more in 2021, showing the confidence of businesses in this technology. Statistics show 29% of companies plan to increase their investments up to 50% this year, while another 32% will boost their 3D printing budgets by 50%-100% or even more.