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Global 3D Printing Growth Will Change Manufacturing

Industrial additive manufacturing, usually called 3D printing, is predicted to be a highly disruptive force, together with robotics, within the global manufacturing industry, affecting all corners of the supply chain in all industries.

In 2008, the global additive manufacturing market was sized at €900 million or $1.227 billion. By the end of 2013, it reached €2.2 billion or $3 billion. It is projected to reach €4.5 billion or $6.1 billion by 2018, and €7.7 billion or $10.5 billion by 2023, as we can see in the graph below.

Source: Roland Berger, Statista 2014

Source: Roland Berger, Statista 2014

Times of rapid changes
This projection is reflected in the market capitalization of companies that work in the area of 3D printing. More and more companies are experiencing a transition from analog to digital manufacturing, recognizing cost savings and design benefits. Additive manufacturing is rapidly replacing traditional manufacturing. This fast transition is pushing traditional manufacturing toward extinction. The sluggishness of traditional manufacturing will also become expensive as ROI and product delivery time are faster in additive manufacturing. Therefore, traditional manufacturing is no longer going to offer advantages to anyone, and it soon will become obsolete.

Leaders in market capitalization
According to Statista, 3D Systems has reached a market capitalization of $6.8 million followed by ExOne, a global provider of 3D printing machines and 3D printed products to industrial customers, which describes itself as a pioneer of non-traditional industrial manufacturing, with a market capitalization of around $609 million. Voxelijet comes in at $537 million and Alphaform at $23 million as of February 2014.

And growing…
According to a press release, Alphaform reported a revenue increase of around 14.4 percent to Q1 2014 to €7.5 million compared with the same period of previous year. Recently, Barron's published an article titled “3D Printer Stocks Are Suddenly Hot Again” (registration required) highlighting how 3D printing and robotics stocks are gaining momentum.

All this is clear evidence of the great support the additive manufacturing industry is receiving, and, as we have seen through the projection above, it will only increase. Additive manufacturing has started to be considered as the answer to restoring manufacturing in some countries. (See 3D Printing Might Bring Manufacturing Back to Canada.)

Mass production of 3D printed parts in sand, metal, or glass in industrial manufacturing is rapidly replacing traditional manufacturing. The already existing mass production of such parts on demand saves time and money for industrial manufacturers. The benefits of additive manufacturing over traditional manufacturing are too many and too good to be ignored.

33 comments on “Global 3D Printing Growth Will Change Manufacturing

  1. John F. Predmore
    August 18, 2014

    The technology is improving day by day. The 3D printing is the best gift of that improved technology. Through this improved technology, the mechnical engineers may draw their project before launching the project. There are tons of research paper writing service reviews in the online about the topic. It will help to reduce the time and cost as well.

  2. t.alex
    August 20, 2014

    3D printing technology is definitely an interesting one for the last 5 years. However i dont see it will change the industry just yet. Price is still high and demand is still low. 

  3. _hm
    August 20, 2014

    @t.Alex: Yes, I agree. This is good for special places and applications. But it may not be cost effective.

  4. Eldredge
    August 20, 2014

    3D printing does provide some compelling benefits.One significant benefit is the capability to build up structures that would be difficult or impossible to manufacture using conventional machining technology.

  5. Eldredge
    August 20, 2014

    As with most new technologies, cost and capability are limiting factors to rapid proliferation. Those factors will improve as further improvements continue.

  6. Susan Fourtané
    August 21, 2014

    t.alex 

    In 2008, the global additive manufacturing market was sized at €900 million or $1.227 billion. By the end of 2013, it reached €2.2 billion or $3 billion. It is projected to reach €4.5 billion or $6.1 billion by 2018, and €7.7 billion or $10.5 billion by 2023. 

    Where do you see the demand is low with those figures from the additive manufacturing market?

    -Susan

  7. ahdand
    August 21, 2014

    @Susan: I don't think its possible to get a clear picture of why the market hit a low note by looking at the figures itself. I think you should consider a survey from its customers or a research on where it went wrong too. After that a combination of a full analysis of the results plus the numbers can be put together and come to a conclusion. 

  8. ahdand
    August 21, 2014

    @Eldridge: Yes cost is a deciding factor here but I feel if the ROI is high, why do you want to block it ? 

  9. Susan Fourtané
    August 21, 2014

    Nimantha,

    What low note? What going wrong? I don't know what you are talking about.

    The presented research and figures show the past, present, and future in global 3D printing growth, which means additive manufacturing market is coming strong in a way that is resulting in high profits.

    The return on investment (ROI) is showing positive, demonstrating that more manufacturers are transitioning to additive manufacturing. Traditional manufacturing is becoming too slow to survive in a market where speed is a key. 

    Companies are investing in 3D printing because its ROI is high. They save time, money, and their production becomes faster and more efficient. 

    -Susan

     

  10. Susan Fourtané
    August 21, 2014

    _hm, 

    If you go through the article and see the profits of the companies that sell 3D printing equipment or solutions you see that 3D printing manufacturing is cost effective. If you stay behind your business will die. Traditional manufacturing has no future.

    -Susan

  11. Susan Fourtané
    August 21, 2014

    Nimantha, 

    The figures come from research. Check the links and all the information provided. 

    -Susan

  12. Eldredge
    August 25, 2014

    @nimantha – Perhaps I wasn't clear. Cost and capability are often impediments to new technolgy, but only for awhile. As new additive material choices and better resolution are developed, this technology will undoubtedly skyrocket.

  13. Susan Fourtané
    August 26, 2014

    Eldredge, 

    “One significant benefit is the capability to build up structures that would be difficult or impossible to manufacture using conventional machining technology.”

    And let's not forget speed, which saves time and money. 

    -Susan

  14. itguyphil
    August 27, 2014

    @Eldredge,

    Skyrocketing typcially happens as the cost drops to a tipping point value. Where that is is tough to predict. THe market force handle that phenomena for us.

  15. Eldredge
    August 28, 2014

    @Susan – As you point out speed is an attribute as well. On the down side, there are limitations with regard to materials that can be printed, and other physical characteristics (strength, smoothness, among others) can be concerns as well. I suspest these issues will be addressed/resolved as the technology matures.

  16. Eldredge
    August 28, 2014

    @pocharles – You are right – market forces will determine when, and to what extent, 3D printing becomes accepted as a mainstream manufacturing technology. I suspect it will happen – it is justa matter of when.

  17. ahdand
    August 29, 2014

    @Eldridge: Indeed its just a matter of time. Also we have to back technology here because these items are the future for us. We cannot just lag behind by getting stuck to the same old thing just because its easy for us. 

  18. itguyphil
    August 31, 2014

    @Eldredge,

    I think it's already a mainstream practice but there's limitations in a lot of organizations' processes. To be able to implement a game-changing technology like this will require a lot of onboarding including training, rip-replace costs and planning, and general employee buyin.

  19. Susan Fourtané
    August 31, 2014

    Eldredge, 

    “I suspect it will happen – it is justa matter of when.”

    It's happening now, as we speak. There is more 3D printing process going on around you than what you think there is. I am not talking about just prototyping here. 

    You can even buy a small 3D printer for home use and they are not even expensive. 

    -Susan

  20. Susan Fourtané
    August 31, 2014

    pocharles, 

    When global providers of 3D printing machines and 3D printed products to industrial customers are showing the business success  they are showing (see info and links above) it's not possible to say anymore that additive manufacturing is something that eventually will happen. It is happening now, and it is happening big.

    -Susan

  21. Susan Fourtané
    August 31, 2014

    Eldredge, 

    Some 3D printers companies offer up to 15 different 3D printers from where you can choose from according to your 3D printing needs and budget. 

    Do you think someone is going to manufacturer so many different types of 3D printers if no manufacturer where buying them? 

    Limitations in materials were a decade ago. You can now 3D print a wide range of materials including metals, glass, titanium, etc. Strength and smootheness are not issues anymore. Parts are being 3D printed in series and used in actual products that go to the market.

    -Susan 

     

  22. Susan Fourtané
    August 31, 2014

    Eldredge, 

    Consumer 3D printers are as cheap as $299 and there are plenty of consumer 3D printers shipping this year and at the beginning of next year. You can see these products already available on teh market. 

    This is to say that both industrial manufacturing and consumers are already using 3D printers today. 

    -Susan

  23. Eldredge
    September 2, 2014

    @nimantha –  I certainly don't advocate lagging behind. #d printing has many applications now, and as 3D processing methods and materials improve, there is no doubt new applications will grow rapidly.

  24. Eldredge
    September 2, 2014

    @Susan – Indeed, there are currently both personal and industrial applications for 3D printing technology. I never intended to imply otherwise.

    However, along with the vast sea of possible applications for 3D printing, there exists differing sets of requirements equally as vast. Strength, smoothness, and accuracy  are still limitatons for some industrial applications – that's not a criticism of the technology or it's potential. If fact, as the technology addresses application-specific challenges, more opportunities will be recognzed.

  25. itguyphil
    September 23, 2014

    @Susan F,

    I'm not saying it's not popular. I still think that for the most part, it's a niche practice. I was focusing more on the consumer aspect, which can help to push more awareness in the business sector as well as new business.

  26. Susan Fourtané
    September 26, 2014

    pocharle, 

    There are affordable 3D printers on the market already for consumers for less than $400. 

    -Susan

  27. Susan Fourtané
    September 26, 2014

    Eldredge, 

    “Strength, smoothness, and accuracy  are still limitatons for some industrial applications “

    NASA launched its first 3D printer on its way to the ISS a few days ago. Instead of sending new parts of equipment from Earth they are going to send the designs and the parts will be 3D printed there. 

    -Susan

  28. Eldredge
    September 26, 2014

    @Susan – That sure beats keeping an inventory of parts and equipment on hand – just make it when you need it.

  29. itguyphil
    September 30, 2014

    @Susan F,

    I'll wait for the Amazon Prime sale before I get one of my own!

  30. Susan Fourtané
    October 1, 2014

    pocharle, 

    That's a good idea. 

    -Susan

  31. Susan Fourtané
    October 1, 2014

    eldredge, 

    Exactly. 3D printing on-demand is the future of manufacturing. No more warehousing and old parts becoming obsolete. 

    -Susan

  32. Eldredge
    October 1, 2014

    @Susan – And while you are at it, design-in incremental improvements on the spot, rather than the old-fashioned method of depleting inventory first.

  33. Susan Fourtané
    October 2, 2014

    Eldredge, 

    Yay! 😀 Perfect. All in all, it's going to save tons of time and money. 

    -Susan

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