The worldwide 3D printer market is expected to expand as rapid technological innovations increase the quality and performance, and drive consumer demand in the emerging market, according to Gartner Inc.
Global shipments of 3D printers priced under US$100,000 will grow 49 percent this year to a total of 56,507 units, Gartner said in a recent note.
Shipments of such printers will increase further next year, growing 75 percent to 98,065 units, followed by a near doubling of shipments in 2015, the US market researcher said.
The 3D printer market “has reached its inflection point,” said Pete Basiliere, a research director at Gartner. “While still a nascent market, with hype outpacing technical realities, the speed of development and rise in buyer interest are pressing hardware, software and service providers.”
This year, combined end-user spending on 3D printers will reach US$412 million, up 43 percent from US$288 million last year, Gartner said.
Purchases by businesses will total more than US$325 million this year, it said.
Next year, combined spending on 3D printers will increase 62 percent, reaching US$669 million, with business spending of US$536 million and consumer spending of US$133 million, Gartner said.
As the products rapidly mature, organizations will increasingly exploit 3D printing’s potential in their laboratories, product developments and manufacturing operations, Basiliere said.
Consumers will move from being curious about the technology to finding reasons to justify purchases, the researcher said.