3D Printers industy overview

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3D printer costs and prices will continue to fall but the progress is slow. Companies will need significant technological innovation to bring forth the next generation of cost-effective 3D printers with higher print quality and accuracy.

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3D printer market sales by units

According to a new forecast report from Gartner, 3D printer sales are expected to more than double every year until 2019, when it is expected that worldwide shipments will climb to more than 5.6 million units. Source: Gartner Forecast

Broadly speaking, the 3D printing market is projected to grow to $4.75B with a CAGR of 29.2% between 2016 and 2022 with the majority of that growth in North America and Europe (Markets and Markets, 2016). This growth represents the increasing demand for cost-effective printers with a higher printing quality and accuracy.


Market penetration of 3D printers is currently hindered by their current price level and their limited printing quality. More than 5.6 million 3D printers are expected to be sold in 2019 driven by an expected uptick in sales of entry-level 3D printers (40% comprised by SLA 3D printers) being sold to homes and small business


3D Printer market by Type


3D SLA Printer MfG Cost

Major cost drivers of 3D SLA printers includes the optical assembly. 


The total 3D Printing market is comprised of nearly 40% SLA type printers. SLA 3D Printer manufacturing costs are critically driven by their expensive optical assembly, which includes a laser and its electronic driver, and arrays of lenses. Innovation to improve or replace these components is necessary to enable generational improvements.