While 3D printing is yet to go mainstream in India, it is making good progress around the world. Worldwide shipments of 3D printers (3DPs) priced less than$100,000 will grow 49 percent in 2013 to reach a total of 56,507 units, according to a new report.
According to Gartner, Inc.’s first forecast of the less than $100,000 consumer and enterprise 3D printer market, shipments will increase further in 2014, growing 75 percent to 98,065 units, followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015.
“The 3D printer market has reached its inflection point,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner.
In 2013, combined end-user spending on 3DPs will reach US$412 million, up 43 percent from US$288 million in 2012. Enterprise spending will total more than $325 million in 2013, while the consumer segment will reach nearly $87 million. In 2014, spending will increase 62 percent, reaching $669 million, with enterprise spending of $536 million and consumer spending of $133 million.
3DP Market Growth by Region
While the North American and Western European regions have so far dominated the market, Greater China’s 98.8 percent CAGR will outstrip them by up to six points by 2017. In mature Asia Pacific countries, shipments of 3D printers are forecast to grow 52.1 percent in 2013 to reach 3,817 units and 70,295 units by 2017; while in emerging Asia Pacific markets, total shipments are expected to grow 55.7 percent to reach 1,643 units in 2013 and reach more than 14,800 units in 2017.
“In the last 12 months, India has seen a transformation in the 3D printing industry with the emergence of local 3D printer manufacturers. The country has a very vibrant ‘maker’ community, and many new entrants and hobbyists are developing 3D printer variations based on the open source RepRap initiative,” said Zalak Shah, research analyst at Gartner.
Clearly Greater China is concerned about its manufacturing base moving back to its customers’ countries since short run, customized items can be cost-effectively 3D printed at home.
Impact of 3D Printing
Gartner predicts that 3D printing will have a high impact on industries, including consumer products, industrial and manufacturing; a medium impact on construction, education, energy, government, medical products, military, retail, telecommunications, transportation and utilities; and a low impact on banking and financial services and insurance. Gartner expects that by 2015, seven of the 50 largest multinational retailers will sell 3D printers through their physical and online stores.