IDTechEx analyse applications of 3D printing - a $7bn market by 2025

The global market for 3D printing is set to reach at least $7 billion by 2025. Existing applications will continue to expand but many emerging applications will also be commercialised. As early as 2020, new applications of 3D printing will begin to displace even the highest-value existing applications. By 2025, most of the market value in 3D printing will be from applications that are not commercially available today. The full picture, from aerospace to biotech, is given in the new IDTechEx research report, Applications of 3D Printing 2014-2024.

The global market for 3D printing is set to reach at least $7 billion by 2025. Existing applications will continue to expand but many emerging applications will also be commercialised. As early as 2020, new applications of 3D printing will begin to displace even the highest-value existing applications. By 2025, most of the market value in 3D printing will be from applications that are not commercially available today. The full picture, from aerospace to biotech, is given in the new IDTechEx research report, Applications of 3D Printing 2014-2024.

Established users of 3D printing, such as the aerospace and automotive industries, will continue to expand their use of 3D printing for mundane applications such as prototyping and tooling. The use of 3D printing to manufacture critical production components will grow in the low-volume high-margin sectors, most notably the space and aerospace industries. The high profile work by GE to get 3D printed fuel nozzles flying in commercial airliners in 2016 will revitalise the hype around 3D printing. Not long after, the application of 3D bioprinting in drug research and cosmetics by companies like Organovo will be front page news, aligning with social megatrends around the ethics of animal testing. The media recently hyped the use of consumer 3D printers, claiming that they will revolutionise manufacturing worldwide, and more recently the use of 3D printing for orthopaedics. Although the hype around these applications is declining this is still just the beginning. Wave after wave of 3D printing applications are moving out of R&D and each will get its 15 minutes of fame. This cycle will continue for at least another ten years as a long list of applications are rolled out commercially one after another - see the figure below where IDTechEx has pinpointed the current status of existing and emerging 3D printing applications along a hype curve.

Many potential applications of 3D printing are still in the lab. 3D printed electronics has huge potential but is still embryonic in terms of development, with main players taking their first steps by 3D printing conductive and insulating materials into a single object. 3D printed electronics, including 3D printed transistors, will not be fully realised within ten years but some emerging medical applications will be commercialised well before 2025. With huge markets and minimal competition, these applications will grow very fast and quickly displace traditional engineering applications of 3D printing.

Comprehensive report

Applications of 3D Printing 2014-2024 explains how 3D printing processes are being used in various industries today and how industries will use the technology in the future. Existing and emerging applications of extrusion, sintering, melting, welding, jetting, stereolithography and digital light processing are described as well as two photon lithography and microsintering.

Sectors covered include aerospace, automotive, architecture, art, consumer, clothing, education, gadgets, hobbyist, justice, medical and sport as well as prototyping. Applications involving the 3D printing of thermoplastics, photopolymers, metals, ceramics, foods, plaster and concrete are described.

Existing and emerging uses of 3D printing in North America, Europe and the Far East are covered.

The report covers 101 different companies involved in all existing 3D printing applications and contains the results of many new interviews with different institutions providing exclusive information about their current and potential uses of 3D printing. Interview-based profiles are given for the 38 main players. Forecasts are based upon current data when available or by relating to older markets that are believed to be similar.

For more details see www.IDTechEx.com/3Dapps and also attend IDTechEx's event 3D Printing LIVE! USA 2014.

About IDTechEx

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research and Events services, helping you profit from emerging technologies. We provide independent research, business intelligence and advice to companies across the value chain based on our core research activities and methodologies providing data sought by business leaders, strategists and emerging technology scouts to aid their business decisions. For more information see www.IDTechEx.com.