A booming market
- Global shipments are expected to reach 217,350 units in 2015, up from 108,151 in 2014
- 3D printer shipments will more than double every year between 2015 and 2018, by which time worldwide shipments are forecast to reach more than 2.3 million.
- Market expected to grow from $3.8bn in 2014 to $16.2bn in 2018, 45.7% CAGR
- CES Floor space for 3D printing companies has doubled over the past year
Turning physical objects into bits and bytes
3D printing is one of the fastest growing sectors of the CE market. As prices decline and the software becomes more user-friendly, 3DPs will continue to become more and more financially appealling. New handheld scanners such as the 3D System’s Sense will make it even easier to recreate complex physical objects without computer assisted design (CAD) programs.
Although consumer demand is still in its infancy, it’s growing rapidly. The buzz is around the digitization of physical objects into ones and zeros. Some analysts predict that 3D printing will demonstrate the value of access over ownership, resulting in market dynamics similar to the music industry. Piracy and copyright infringement are real headwinds. The current state of the mobile app market is another viable route. We expect a combination of both: you’ll have an iTunes/App Store where you can buy and sell DRM’d 3D products and files, a thriving open-source community, and significant amounts of piracy.