3D Hubs predicts 2020 additive manufacturing trends
The leading online manufacturing service, 3D Hubs, has recently released its 3D printing trends report for 2020, giving its insights on the evolution of additive manufacturing, and where the AM market is headed. Looking back at the last decade, it’s easy to see that the 3D printing market has evolved tremendously. The technology has shifted from being a prototyping technology to a production technology, which has brought many underlying changes to the industry. More precisely, 3D Hubs explains that there are 3 times more professionals using 3D printing today than 3 years ago and that the forecasted average annual growth of the 3D printing market for the next 5 years is 24%.
2020 Additive Manufacturing Trends
You might ask what is driving this rapid growth. 3D Hubs identified multiple drivers, including an increased adoption for serial production, strong entrepreneurship driven by applications, and professionals turning to online manufacturing platforms. At 3Dnatives we also looked back at 2019 to identify the key trends that shaped the world of AM. It was impossible to miss the impressive rise of many 3D printing startups. It’s true that investments were flourishing last year, with multiple successful couple million funding rounds. More precisely, 3D Hubs’s report shows that in 2019 alone, more than $1.1. billion were raised by 3D printing startups.
Desktop Metal, Markforged, Carbon, Xometry, Relativity, the list goes on and showcases venture capitalists’ trust in the technology and market. Two thirds of 3D printing startups that received funding were 3D printer manufacturers. Looking at the global picture of investment, 3D printer manufacturers acquired 25% of the investment, and the funding was mainly centralized in the US. Naturally, underlying these investments is the growing adoption of 3D printing. An exhaustive study on the market was published by EY in 2019. The report from 3D Hubs expands on EY’s findings, explaining that the adoption tripled in the last 3 years. In fact, out of the 900 companies surveyed by EY, 65% were already using 3D printing and 18% were considering it for their applications in the near future.
In more detail, not all segments of AM are flourishing in the same way. For example metal additive manufacturing has experienced a particularly high growth compared to other segments. The consumer sector has suffered, with demand not meeting expectations, especially for small desktop 3D printers. In terms of market players, 3D printer manufacturers (38%) still represent the biggest chunk, closely followed by online service providers (34%). And it’s the latter that is growing the quickest!
As an online 3D printing service provider itself, 3D Hubs understands the market. The company focused on this segment to identify key trends. They explain that more and more professionals are turning to online services to have their parts 3D printed – and not just for prototypes, for series production too! North America and Europe are the clear leaders in online 3D printing, representing together more than 95% of the global demand. In the US, the highest demand came from California (through the 3D Hubs platform), with Los Angeles and San Diego as substantial drivers.
Looking at the industries, the report shows that over 65% of the demand comes from professional users working in the development of Industrial, Electrical or Consumer Goods. On the other hand, professionals in the Aerospace, Automotive, and Medical industries prefer to produce parts in-house or outsource using traditional supply chains. Finally, in terms of technology, FDM is still the most used process for manufacturing parts, corresponding to about two thirds of the total demand.
Moving away from prototyping, the market is maturing rapidly and we can’t wait to see the new applications and market players that will emerge in 2020. You can find the full report for more information HERE.
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