The global 3D printing market generated a revenue of $8,583.6 million in 2017 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 24.6% during the forecast period 2018–2023. The major drivers of the market are reduction in manufacturing cost, increase in government investments in 3D printing projects, and ease in the development of customized products. In simple terms, 3D printing means additive manufacturing because it follows the process of combining material in consecutive patterns to build the desired shape. The technology acts as an alternative to subtractive manufacturing.
The 3D printing market has been segmented by component, technology, process, application, industry, and region in the report. On the basis of component,it is divided into the material, software, printer, and service, wherein printer accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 45.0% in 2017. The various materials used in 3D printing are polymers, metals, and ceramics. Out of these, metal-based 3D printing made a revenue contribution of more than 49.0% to the domain in 2017.
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On a global ground, in 2017, North America was the largest market for 3D printing, contributing more than 35.0% of the total revenue. The aerospace and defense and healthcare sectors are widely using 3D printing. The U.S dominates the aerospace and defense market around the globe, which, in turn, is proving to be a major factor for the growth of the 3D printing market in North America. In addition, advancements in technology and increase in government initiatives in the region are likely to escalate the growth of the North America market further.
Now, coming to the process, 3D printing is classified into direct energy deposition, powder bed fusion, material extrusion, material jetting, binder jetting, vat photopolymerization, and sheet lamination. Among these, the power bed fusion process accounted for larger revenue share in 2017, of more than 20.0%. Due to the development of the product at low cost without compromising the quality with the help of this process, the 3D printing market is growing.
One of the key drivers of the 3D printing market across the world is slashed manufacturing cost. Benefits, such as less labor cost and transportation, reduced material usage are helping manufacturers prosper, thereby boosting the growth of the market. The 3 D printing technology helps in minimizing the amount of material used as compared to subtractive manufacturing. In other processes, the scraps left at the time of cutting the metals are wasted and destroyed, while 3D printing ensures a lot of waste reduction.
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An automated process, 3D printing also lowers the labor cost attached to traditional manufacturing processes. Although, the cost for appointing skilled labor is incurred, it is less than that incurred otherwise. Further, the problem of leaves, emergencies, and injuries that come with employees working with the traditional technology can harm a business. With the use of the 3D printing technology, even these problems can be taken care of to some extent. The reduction in the cost of manufacturing and transportation ultimately helps companies keep ahead in the competition.
Therefore, the advantage of slashed manufacturing cost plays an important role in the growth of the 3D printing market.
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