Research firm Gartner is predicting 3D printer sales to exceed US$13.4 billion by 2018. This growth rate over the next 40 months showcases just how much of an impact the technology will have in our short-term future.
Written as a part of the report, Forecast: 3D Printers, Worldwide, the report outlines several key drivers for the industry. For consumer use,the growth will come down to a reduction in price-points coupled with improved performance and availability. According to the report, the drivers of enterprise purchasing will again come down to price, but will also be spurred on by improved quality for prototyping and a wider range of printable materials.
‘The 3D printer market is clearly at an inflection point,’ said Pete Basiliere, a research director at Gartner. ‘Unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers, which languished in the low single and double digits per year since the early days of additive manufacturing are poised to increase dramatically beginning in 2015.’
The positive sales growth forecasted will aid to push the technology beyond the early adoption phase. From this, industries may then feel comfortable investing in 3D printing R&D to assess how they may be able to innovate using the technology. OCM.
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