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Additive Manufacturing Research: market growth can reach 20% CAGR by 2020

Hangzhou Fancheng Chemical Co.,Ltd | Updated: Jan 16, 2017

The additive manufacturing (AM)/3D printing (3DP) market has had more challenges over the past two years than in its previous history, according to Additive Manufacturing Research (AMR) association in the US.

In this sector, AMR is seeing, not just new competition, but also the development of entirely new print processes. As a result, it is becoming more difficult for companies to develop and execute on AM/3DP strategies involving polymers.

"In some ways, there are almost too many options to explore as many manufacturers are deciding how they can expand on their rapid prototyping efforts into more strategic manufacturing applications using polymer printing," said AMR Lead Analyst Scott Dunham.

In its most recent polymer bulletin, AMR points to several companies involved in the space that have significant potential to shape the 3D-printable polymer market. For example, Stratasys and 3D Systems are both enduring continued decline in hardware sales, but the 3D printing of polymers continue to be buoyed by new entrants.

AMR believes that through 2020, the 3DP polymer segment will return to historically established levels of around 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This will be driven extensively by the polymer powder bed fusion and photopolymerization technology subsegments. On the materials side in polymers, AMR notes that mechanically superior composites are beginning to truly take center stage.

AMR points to a strong showing at the formnext trade show for metal additive manufacturing.

"We're expecting the industry to achieve around a 25% growth year over year, representing a fourth year of growth since the market's 'inflection point' which we believe was in 2013. With estimates indicating more than 1,200 metal AM systems sold by the end of calendar 2016, that's more than US$750 million in hardware revenues generated," said Dunham.