WELLESLEY, MA--(Marketwired - June 28, 2016) - Since its introduction 20 years ago, the 3-D printing industry finally topped $1 billion in 2009. In 2012, the industry reached $2 billion. BCC Research reveals in its new report that rapidly falling development costs are making 3-D technology increasingly available to the average consumer.
Three-dimensional (3-D) printing, also called additive manufacturing, is the process of making a three-dimensional solid from a digital model by depositing successive layers of material in different shapes.
The global market for 3-D printing materials, which totaled $475.4 million in 2015, should reach $576.6 million and over $1.5 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, registering a five-year compound annual growth (CAGR) of 21.5%.
Photopolymers accounted for the largest share of the market (59.8%) in 2015, but they comprise the slowest-growing segment, with a projected five-year (2016-2021) CAGR of 16.3%. As a result, this segment's market share should decline to about 47% by 2021. Meanwhile, thermoplastics should remain the second-largest segment, holding between 25% and 26% of the market during the forecast period. Ceramic, metals and other materials account for the rest of the market.
The cost of 3-D printers continues to fall, with prices averaging $20,000 just three years ago versus less than $1,000 in the current market. Some printers are currently being developed for under $500, making the technology increasingly available to the average consumer. Thanks to the rapidly dropping cost of 3-D printers, the industry achieved a milestone of 500,000 units sold in 2015.
North America is the largest geographical market for 3-D printing materials, accounting for about 39% of the global market in 2015. The Asia-Pacific region should grow the fastest, at a projected five-year CAGR of 23.1% during the forecast period. This growth should expand that region's market share to between 32% and 35% during the forecast period. Meanwhile, Europe should experience somewhat slower growth than North America and Asia-Pacific. Consequently, its market share should drop slightly, from 19.3% in 2015 to 19.1% in 2021. Other markets also are expected to lose market shares, from about 10% in 2015 to 7% in 2021.
The medical and dental sector is the largest end user of 3-D printing materials, accounting for over 25% of total global consumption in 2015, with a projected market share of 29% in 2021. Automotive products, the second-largest end users of 3-D printing materials in 2015, accounted for about 22% of the market, followed by consumer products with about 16%.
"Consumer products are growing much faster than automotive end uses. With an anticipated five-year CAGR of 25.9%, this segment should become the second-largest end-user segment by 2021, with an anticipated 15.7% of the market," says BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams.
Advanced Materials for 3-D Printing: Technologies and Global Markets (AVM101B) analyzes the trends in 3-D printing materials technology and the most promising new 3-D printing material applications. Analyses of global market drivers and developments, with data from 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of CAGRs through 2021 also are provided.
About BCC Research
BCC Research is a publisher of market research reports that provide organizations with intelligence to drive smart business decisions. By partnering with industry experts worldwide, BCC Research provides unbiased measurements and assessments of global markets covering major industrial and technology sectors, including emerging markets. Founded in 1971, BCC Research is a unit of Eli Global, LLC. For more information about BCC Research, please visit bccresearch.com. Follow BCC Research on Twitter at @BCCResearch.