The $1.5 billion 3D printing materials market is forecasted to grow to $4.5 billion by 2024 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 25% over the five years. The report from Research and Markets also projects metal 3D printing to grow at an even faster clip.
The growth in the materials segment is obviously related to the global expansion of all types of 3D printers, from consumer and professional desktop models to industrial and manufacturing machines. Easy-to-use FDM (fused deposition modeling) and SLA (stereolithography) 3D printers can now be purchased for under $500. They all use the same filaments and resins, so the more people that buy 3D printers, the more materials those same users will consume. The last couple years have seen a deluge of new industrial-grade polymers developed and certified for aerospace, healthcare, and automotive applications, many of which can be used across different brands of 3D printers. These realities make the 3D printing materials market a safe bet over the next few years.
The metal materials market is being driven by demand from the automotive, aerospace, defense, and healthcare industries, all of which require precise manufacturing of complex components for highly regulated and mission-critical applications. Most of the metals are consumed in powder form, and the most popular metals are steel, aluminum, and titanium. The automotive industry is expected to experience the highest CAGR in the metals segment due to companies such as Ford and BMW using 3D printers to mass produce engine parts, light covers, fenders, and more.
Regionally, APAC (Asia Pacific) is growing faster than any other market and is currently the third-largest consumer of 3D printing materials, behind the US and Europe. More than half of the world’s population lives in the region, so as they deploy infrastructure and grow their economies, they’ll be consuming an increasing share of 3D printing materials. China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and India already invest heavily in 3D printing and are expected to drive growth in the region.
The report also provides a competitive analysis for the largest manufacturers of 3D printing materials, including 3D Systems, Royal DSM, ExOne, GE, Materialise, Stratasys, and EOS.