U.S. Opportunity Drives 3D Printer Market Growth

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The FINANCIAL — The U.S. 3D print market remains white hot, fueled by the explosion of 3D print manufacturers from around the world who are setting their sites squarely on the United States. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), the United States is the world’s largest market for 3D printers with hardware revenues expected to approach $1.5 billion by 2019.

The increasing demand to reduce manufacturing cycle times and to reduce prototyping costs are major drivers of 3D printing. “The technologies that enable 3D printing continue to develop and expand in nearly every direction,” said Tim Greene, Research Director, Hardcopy Solutions. “These technologies can help deliver larger, more accurate, and more solidly built models in a fraction of the time.”

In terms of shipments, fused deposition modeling (FDM/FFF) is the largest technology within the 3D printing market, and there has been some explosive growth among suppliers of FDM/FFF printers. Additionally, the emergence of dual-extrusion printing, offered by an increasing number of suppliers, is gaining significant traction as this technology can effectively double the build speed.

Additional findings from IDC’s research include:

With key patents expiring in 2014, stereolithography (SLA) technologies, which offer the potential to increase speed and build size, are being more widely explored.

FDM/FFF and SLA are by far the two largest 3D printer segments in terms of shipments.

The entry of new players like HP in the MultiJet/PolyJet technology segment will fuel a growth rate of more than 30% per year between 2014 and 2019.

The smallest but the fastest-growing technology segment is selective laser sintering (SLS).

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