Projected size of the global market for 3D printing, materials and associated services
The disruptive technology of 3D printing continues to make inroads into different industries, including construction, aerospace, automotive and the medical technology industry. Using 3D printing enables product developers to print parts and composites from different materials with unique mechanical and physical properties in one single process. This process is also known as additive manufacturing. It is different from traditional manufacturing insomuch as that it adds materials - typically in layers - in order to form something new.
China, Europe and the United States are among the largest markets for 3D printing. The U.S. 3D printer manufacturing market can be broken down into three segments, including materials, 3D printing machines, as well as 3D printer maintenance. In 2014, the 3D materials segment accounted for just under 40 percent of the total U.S. market. Worldwide, 3D printing products and services accounted for about 35 percent of the total 3D printing market. The materials used in 3D printing include plastics, metals, ceramics and wax. Baosteel and BHP Billiton are ranked among the leading suppliers of 3D printing products, while the largest manufacturers of 3D printers include Stratasys, ExOne and 3D Systems.