An insight into Consumer 3D printing market trends: The advanced, astounding and alluring field of 3D printing technology has grown leaps and bounds in the span of last few years. Even though the technology is not new and has been into existence since a decade ago, it has gained momentum and awareness just recently. While it might not be obvious, 3D printing is now widely used in manufacturing where it has been used to create prototypes for use in the aerospace, automotive, engineering, and medical sectors.

While 3D printing maybe hasn’t yet lived up to some of mainstream realm hype, the technology has clearly shown that it can create more than just prototypes. 3D printing has been described as a valuable part of every step of the product development process, but up till now it hasn’t quite had a breakthrough. But if the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month is anything to go by, it seems like 3D printing is primed to make a splash in 2017.[source] Consumer 3D printing market has expanded and has opened the doors to new possibilities in the field.

The latest market study shows that 3D printing market growth has been exponential. The 3D printing market growth is estimated to garner $8.6 billion by 2020. The factors driving this market are reduction of errors, high degree of accuracy, efficient use of raw materials, ability to build customized products, simultaneous use of multiple materials for printing, efficient use of production time and financials, and competency over traditional techniques among others. On the contrary, high production cost to individual users, expensive 3D printing software, lack of channel partner assistance, and scarcity of skilled labors are some of the restraints for the global 3D printing industry. [Source]

Consumer 3D printing market: 3D printing market Segmentation Overview

The global market for 3D printing has been segmented based on component, application, and geography. Based on component, the market is classified into technology, material and services. Application wise, the market is categorized into consumer products, aerospace, defense, education & research, automotive, industrial, and others. Consumer products industry has been the highest revenue generating segment and is expected to be the highest generating segment even during forecast period.[Source]

Consumer 3D printing market trends

Consumer 3D printing market trends : 1. MULTI-MATERIAL 3D PRINTING

Using a plastic filament has been the norm for 3D printing for quite some time now. Although most consumers are not too bothered by this limitation, printer manufacturers are working on allowing for multi-material support. To be more precise, this would still be possible using the same single extruder found in most consumer-grade 3D printers in existence today. All materials are spread equally across different layers, which allows for sturdier and better creations. Expect a lot of progress in this department through all of 2017.

Consumer 3D printing market trends : 2. ORGANS WILL BE PRINTED

As unusual as this concept may sound, don’t be surprised when the pharmaceutical sector shifts towards 3D printing specific organs. A new heart coming right out of the printer is not something to look forward to just yet, but scientists are experimenting with a 3D printed kidney. The bigger question is how the human body will respond to these strange substances and materials being introduced.
A kidney is not the only part of a human body being 3D printed, though. An artery, liver tissue, and various bones have been tested throughout 2016. In fact, scientists have implanted a 3D printed vein segment into a living monkey, which is a significant advancement. It is unclear what 2017 will bring exactly, as a lot of research needs to be done.

Consumer 3D printing market trends : 3. IMPROVEMENTS IN METAL PRINTING

Looking beyond the consumer-grade 3D printer materials, enterprises can stand to gain a lot from better metal printing solutions. Although 3D printing metal objects is already possible, even while achieving a high-quality output, the process is very expensive and somewhat limited to manufacturing smaller parts. Come 2017 and beyond; that situation is set to change for the better.
Think of 3D printing as an industry that can shake up aerospace and the medical sector. Cheaper printing technologies, together with better support for denser materials to print larger objects, can bring significant changes in these fields. Several companies are already working on bringing more materials to 3d printers all over the world, although there is still a long and steep road ahead.

Consumer 3D printing market trends : 4. MULTI-COLOR 3D PRINTING IS COMING

One of the main issues a lot of people had with 3D printing at an early stage is how all of the objects could only be printed in one color. That situation has come to change in 2016, as multicolored printing will make its way to the consumer market. Some 3D printers supported multi color printing already, although none of them have made it to the mass market just yet. From a consumer point of view, multi color 3D printing would make this business quite more appealing.[Source]

As an entire reformation of 3D printing from this year, the market growth and the profits that this technology will bring about in the market is exceptional. All in all, with better customized products, better software, wider adoption and more number of materials available in the market, the 3D printing market segmentation and growth is definitely expanding. There are still many endless possibilities for 3D printing to enter into and help evolve many industries.

We’ve also written a post on “Cool 3D printing ideas”.