3d printing, growth, metal, plastic, market, US, China, demandAccording to a new study published by the Freedonia Group, worldwide demand for 3D printing is predicted to rise by more 20% year over year through 2017.

Fueled by professional prototyping applications, Freedonia’s report, “World 3D Printing to 2017”, states that 3D printing will see marked gains in adoption by consumers. What’s more, 3D printing will move from a prototyping technology to one where direct production parts and finished goods are produced on demand.

Beyond overall demand, the Freedonia study drills down and examines how materials will shape the future of the 3DP technology. According to the study, plastics will remain the go-to material for 3D printers; however, metal 3D printing will see a surge in use as current methods are slowly perfected.

To round out its investigation, Freedonia also projects that the US will remain the world’s largest 3D printing market, accounting for some 42% of global sales by 2017. Although the US and Europe will continue to dominate the metal 3D printing market, China should continue to push the limits of the technology when it comes to prototyping and printing consumer goods. Massive government investments coupled with focused academic research should boost China’s profile in the world of 3D printing and set its 3D printer manufacturers up for a strong run through the end of the decade.

Images Courtesy of the Freedonia Group

 

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