3D printers - worldwide unit shipments 2018 & 2027

It is expected that the volume of 3D printers shipped globally will exceed eight million units by 2027. The largest markets for 3D printers are affluent economies.

Industry development

The market is largely dominated by the industrial printer segment. Manufacturing industries such as automotive, medical, and aerospace use industrial 3D printers to create high-quality prototypes. These industries are increasingly printing end products, particularly for medical uses such as implants and prosthetics, but the industry is also producing tools and parts. Although unit sales are to increase substantially throughout 2027, costs of production are decreasing, meaning that spending on 3D printing will not increase as quickly. Smaller, less sophisticated 3D printers known as desktop printers will also grow in shipments globally.

Printing life

Creating bespoke and complex objects has great use in the medical industry which uses 3D printing to create low-cost, highly functional prosthetics. Similar technology has opened a plethora of trans-humanist creations. Bioprinting fabricates parts similar to natural tissue. The technology has been developed for a wide range of creations, such as ears, organs, blood vessels, and bone.

Global unit shipments of 3D printers from 2018 to 2027

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The 2027 figure is a projection.

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