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Global 3-D Printing Materials Market Galloping Along
[2016-07-20]

Since its introduction 20 years ago, the 3-D printing industry finally topped $1 billion in 2009, according to BCC Research. In 2012, the industry reached $2 billion. Rapidly falling development costs are making 3-D technology increasingly available to the average consumer. The global market for 3-D printing materials, which totaled $475.4 million in 2015, should reach $576.6 million and over $1.5 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, registering a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.5%.
 
Photopolymers accounted for the largest share of the market (59.8%) in 2015, but they comprise the slowest-growing segment, with a projected five-year CAGR of 16.3%. As a result, this segment’s market share should decline to about 47% by 2021. Meanwhile, thermoplastics should remain the second-largest segment, holding between 25% and 26% of the market during the forecast period. Ceramic, metals and other materials account for the rest of the market.
 
The cost of 3-D printers continues to fall, with prices averaging $20,000 just three years ago vs. less than $1,000 in the current market. Some printers are currently being developed for under $500, making the technology increasingly available to the average consumer. Thanks to the rapidly dropping cost of 3-D printers, the industry achieved a milestone of 500,000 units sold in 2015.
 
North America is the largest geographical market for 3-D printing materials, accounting for about 39% of the global market in 2015. The Asia-Pacific region should grow the fastest, at a projected five-year CAGR of 23.1% during the forecast period. This growth should expand that region’s market share to between 32-35% during the forecast period. Meanwhile, Europe should experience somewhat slower growth than North America and Asia-Pacific. Consequently, its market share should drop slightly, from 19.3% in 2015 to 19.1% in 2021. Other markets also are expected to lose market shares, from about 10% in 2015 to 7% in 2021.
 
The medical and dental sector is the largest end user of 3-D printing materials, accounting for over 25% of total global consumption in 2015, with a projected market share of 29% in 2021. Automotive products, the second-largest end users of 3-D printing materials in 2015, accounted for about 22% of the market, followed by consumer products with about 16%. 
 
“Consumer products are growing much faster than automotive end uses,” said Andrew McWilliams, analyst. “With an anticipated five-year CAGR of 25.9%, this segment should become the second-largest end-user segment by 2021, with an anticipated 15.7% of the market.”
 
For more information, visit www.bccresearch.com. 

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