Total value of 3D-printed parts increased 300% in 2019, according to new report

As applications multiply in the automotive, medical and other sectors, the 3D-printing market will continue to double in size approximately every three years, according to the "3D Printing Trends 2020" report from 3D Hubs (Amsterdam).

Clare Goldsberry

January 30, 2020

2 Min Read
Total value of 3D-printed parts increased 300% in 2019, according to new report

North America and Europe are the clear leaders in online 3D printing, representing together more than 95% of global demand, according to a report released today by 3D Hubs, an Amsterdam-based online manufacturing platform. U.S. businesses account for nearly 50% of the global online 3D printing demand. UK firms are the most avid 3D-printing users, accounting for more than 12% of global online 3D printing, surpassing even the state of California.

Since its founding in 2013, 3D Hubs has raised more than $30 million and produced more than four million parts, using various manufacturing technologies, including CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding and sheet metal fabrication. The report, 3D Printing Trends 2020, includes insights from the company’s own order database and a systematic review of news and market analyst reports.

Key findings of the report include the following:

  • The total value of 3D-printed parts increased 300% in 2019, suggesting a shift away from the high-volume, low-value consumer market in favor of professional users’ workflows.

  • 3D printing is now adopted by the early majority for serial production. With ubiquitous applications across multiple industries—including automotive, aerospace, maritime, medical, sports, railway and defense—3D printing is changing new product development and aftermarket supply chains globally.

  • 3D printing entrepreneurship is strong and driven by applications. A record-high $1.1 billion was raised by 3D-printing startups in 2019 alone. Applications of 3D printing are attracting the largest number of investors.

  • The 3D-printing market keeps growing at record speeds. Top analysts agree that, as adoption steadily increases, the total 3D printing market will continue to double in size approximately every three years, despite the current poor returns of publicly traded 3D-printing companies.

  • Professional users are turning to online manufacturing platforms. The plethora of 3D-printing materials and systems makes it impossible for companies to invest in in-house capabilities that cover all use-cases. Many professionals choose online manufacturing platforms as the most competitive solution to fulfill their serial 3D-printing production needs.

  • 3D printing is only one aspect of the new digital manufacturing space. Combined with other digital manufacturing technologies, such as CNC machining and low-run injection molding, and powered by digital supply chains and smart factories, 3D printing is forming a new manufacturing landscape.

The 3D Hubs report includes interviews with Emilio Juárez, EMEA Head of 3D Printing Sales for HP; Max Lobovsky, co-founder and CEO of Formlabs; Jon Bruner, Head of Enterprise Strategy for Carbon; and Dr. Cora Lüders-Theuerkauf, Network Manager for Medical Goes Additive.

The report is available free of charge (registration required).

Image: Sdecoret/Adobe Stock

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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