Global 3D-printer shipments may double to cross 4 lakh this year
With 3D-printing being used in manufacturing processes and to create prototypes, the worldwide shipments of 3D-printers is estimated to reach 455,772 units in 2016, a report by Gartner said.
The total shipments of 3D-printers in 2015 were only 219,168.
The report said that despite slowing growth rates after the market's initial growth spurt, the increase in 3D-printer shipments over the next four years will see the number of units shipped in 2020 total more than 6.7 million.
"Once a niche market, 3D printing has continued its rapid transformation into a broad-based mainstream technology embraced by consumers and enterprises around the world," said Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner.
Seven technologies constitute the current 3D-printer market with material extrusion gaining importance, Gartner said that stereo lithography printer shipments will also grow at a rapid rate as new providers enter the market and the range of printable materials expands.
"The primary market driver for consumer 3D-printers costing under $2,500 is the acquisition of low-cost devices by educational institutions and enterprise engineering, marketing and creative departments," said Mr. Basiliere.
Three dimensional printer market drivers are material advances and the devices' ability to make prototypes, tools, fixtures, and finished goods.
“Prototyping will remain the primary enterprise use for 3D-printers throughout the forecast period, while their use to augment manufacturing will grow to 75 percent of enterprises by 2020,” the report said.
The strongest markets for 3D-printers will continue to be North America and Western Europe while Greater China, emerging Asia/Pacific and mature Asia/Pacific regions will experience a combination of high 3D-printer shipments and high growth rates through 2020, Garter said.
Growth driven by private-sector and public-sector organizations that recognize the threat that 3D printing poses to native industries that rely on conventional manufacturing technologies, the report added.