3D Printing Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The 3D Printing Market is segmented by Printer Type (Desktop and Industry-grade), Technology (Stereo Lithography, Fused Deposition Modeling, Selective Laser Sintering, Electron Beam Melting, and Digital Light Processing), Material Type (Metal, Plastic, and Ceramics), End-user Industry (Automotive, Aerospace, and Defense, Healthcare, Construction and Architecture, Energy, and Food), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

3d printing market
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 29.48 %

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Market Overview

The 3D printing market was valued at USD 13.7 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 63.46 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 29.48% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). 3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a technology that creates objects, as it offers a plethora of opportunities in the production, design, and performance of novel architectural forms, construction systems, and materials. It is an innovative, faster, and more agile method of product development and production.

  • With rapid advancements in material composition, such as the emerging use cases of polymers and metals, additive manufacturing is evolving from a prototyping tool to a functional part of fabrication. New materials, shorter lead times, and innovative finishes while adhering to standards (FDA, ASTM, and ISO) are enabling the technology to be integrated into manufacturing processes.
  • Further, the decreased prices of additive manufacturing-based machines and growing expertise and awareness have increased this technology's availability. Newer and advanced fused deposition modeling methods have enabled the use of diverse materials, thereby boosting widespread adoption across various industries over recent years.
  • According to Essentium's survey in March 2019, the number of manufacturers using additive manufacturing for full-scale production doubled in 2019 as compared to 2018. Wider adoption of 3D printing was observed across sectors, as an increased number of industrial solutions were brought to market by manufacturers.
  • Also, various technological advancements, such as AI and ML, are further augmenting the adoption of 3D Printing devices, as these technologies enable automated printing for efficient production. For instance, in November 2019, the UK-based company, Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), launched its new Digital Manufacturing Systems at Formnext 2019. It uses AMT's proprietary technology to provide an automated and digital solution for the entire manufacturing workflow.
  • Governments worldwide have already started investing in R&D on 3D printing, which has had a positive impact on technology propagation and adoption. For instance, the Dutch government spent an additional USD 150 million in 3D printing-related research and innovation.
  • However, as the technology advances, additive manufacturing may challenge the traditional forms of Intellectual Property (IP) protection and boost illegal usage of printed weapons and drugs significantly, which is expected to hinder the market's growth. Also, the market is constrained by the high costs of equipment needed to take to achieve substantial economies of scale. Furthermore, the lack of an international standards body regulating manufacturers also limits the market's standardization structure.

Scope of the Report

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D Printing, is an automated process used to create rapid prototypes and functional end-use parts. It takes virtual designs from computer-aided design (CAD) software and transforms them into thin, virtual, horizontal layer-wise cross-sections until the model is complete. The 3D printing market's scope categorizes the various technology used in 3D Printing, ranging from SLA, FDM, SLS, DLM, EBM, etc. The study also categorizes an in-depth study of multiple applications of 3D Printing across various end-user industries, such as automotive, aerospace, and defense, healthcare, construction, and architecture. The categorization is also done based on the material type used, like, metals, plastics, and ceramics, among others.

By Printer Type
Desktop (Consumer and At-home printers)
By Technology
Stereo Lithography (SLA)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Electron Beam Melting
Digital Light Processing
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Other Technologies
By Material Type
Other Material Types
By End-user Industry
Aerospace and Defense
Construction and Architecture
Other End-user Industries
North America
Rest of the World

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Key Market Trends

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Technology is Expected to Lead the Market

  • Selective laser sintering (SLS) has been identified as the most preferred technology. It is expected to record the highest CAGR over the forecast period, owing to its various benefits over other technologies.
  • SLS utilizes 12 powder nylon for raw material as a substitute to the photosensitive resin used in stereolithography. Companies and research organizations worldwide have been identified to take advantage of this material and technology to tackle concerns, such as the brittle nature of the resin when exposed to sunlight. In addition to that, SLS has also been proven to be cost and material-friendly, as it does not require any dedicated support structure post-printing. In addition to that, SLS provides enhanced durability and can perform and either functional parts or prototypes.
  • SLS further finds a wide array of applications across various verticals, including aerospace and defense and automotive, among others. With space exploration witnessing a paradigm shift, the demand for SLS printing is expected to mount, with an increasing number of countries gearing up to launch satellites.
  • In addition to that, SLS is also increasingly used in sports vehicles and electric cars. According to IEA, the global stock of electric passenger cars passing 5 million in 2018, an increase of 63% from 2017. Leading automotive companies have increasingly utilized SLS 3D printing technology into EVs, which is expected to increase the demand globally, thereby driving the growth.
  • Furthermore, the market is witnessing a significant number of mergers and acquisitions, complementing the growth of SLS in the 3D printing market. For instance, in November 2019, Braskem, the polyolefins and biopolymer producer and Advanced Laser Materials (ALM), an EOS Company, collaborated to develop innovative polyolefin-based powders Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) powder-bed 3D printing.

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North America Holds the Largest Share in the Market

  • The North American region is expected to dominate the 3D printing market as the region has dominated when it comes to technology adoption. According to the 3D printing Sentiment Index conducted by a desktop 3D printing company, Ultimaker, in November 2019, the United States leads as the most advanced country in 3D printing.
  • A series of new product launches and product innovations and developments are expected to augment the market growth further. Several 3D printing solution providers worldwide are expanding their presence in the North American market for an enhanced market presence. For instance, in May 2019, Italian 3D printer manufacturer Roboze will showcase its high-temperature ROBOZE Xtreme series for the first time in North America at RAPID+TCT 2019.
  • Also, there have been a series of new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions in North America to utilize the potential on offer through 3D printing. For instance, in May 2019, RAPLAS partnered with RP America to expand 3D printing technology to the North American market. The primary factor influencing the rise in investments has been the continuous evolution and application of new technologies exploring an untapped market in the manufacturing sector.
  • The region is also witnessing a series of investments in the healthcare, aerospace and defense, industrial, and consumer products industries in North America, which are expected to grow significantly in the future. Various government organizations, such as NASA, have identified that substantial investments in 3D printing technologies can contribute considerably to space applications and develop zero-G technologies, driving the growth of the market.
  • Fitness trackers and smart apparel are also expected to be driving factors for 3D printing technology in the United States. It is estimated that around 19% of the broadband households had a wearable fitness device. Also, changing consumer preferences and a rising need for customization have bought about a need to create a flexible band and electronics systems that could be realized using 3D printing technology, thereby driving its growth.

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Competitive Landscape

The 3D printing market is consolidated due to the majority of the market share is owned by top players in the industry. However, small and medium are upgrading their cloud services, but top players have gained a significant proportion of consumers and also investing huge for more developments and innovation. Some of the key players include Stratasys Ltd.,3D Systems Corporation, EOS GmbH, Electro-Optical Systems, Concept – Laser GmbH, Sisma SpA, ExOne Co., Arcam AB (GE Aviation), SLM Solutions Group AG, Hewlett Packard Inc., Materialise NV (ADR), and Proto Labs Inc., among others.

  • November 2019 - GE Additive launched the Arcam EBM Spectra L and the Concept Laser M2 Series 5 metal additive manufacturing platforms on day one of Formnext. Both platforms have been designed and developed to meet the growing need of GE's industrial partners.
  • April 2019 - 3D Systems announced the official opening of its new Advanced Additive Manufacturing Center in Pinerolo, Italy. Over the past 1.5 years, the company undertook a multimillion-dollar expansion to more than double the manufacturing capacity and increased the breadth of capabilities to meet growing customer demand.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Market Drivers

      1. 4.4.1 Public Investments in 3D Printing-based Projects

      2. 4.4.2 Ease in Development of Customized Products

      3. 4.4.3 Steady Increase in Demand for Industrial 3D Printers Aided by Innovations

    5. 4.5 Market Restraints

      1. 4.5.1 Cost and Product Quality Concerns Remain a Concern

      2. 4.5.2 Low-cost Consumer 3D Printer Adoption has Remained Subdued as Compared to Initial Forecasts

    6. 4.6 Impact of COVID-19 on the 3D printing industry

    7. 4.7 Industry Regulations and Standards



    1. 6.1 By Printer Type

      1. 6.1.1 Desktop (Consumer and At-home printers)

      2. 6.1.2 Industrial-grade

    2. 6.2 By Technology

      1. 6.2.1 Stereo Lithography (SLA)

      2. 6.2.2 Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

      3. 6.2.3 Electron Beam Melting

      4. 6.2.4 Digital Light Processing

      5. 6.2.5 Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

      6. 6.2.6 Other Technologies

    3. 6.3 By Material Type

      1. 6.3.1 Metal

      2. 6.3.2 Plastic

      3. 6.3.3 Ceramics

      4. 6.3.4 Other Material Types

    4. 6.4 By End-user Industry

      1. 6.4.1 Automotive

      2. 6.4.2 Aerospace and Defense

      3. 6.4.3 Healthcare

      4. 6.4.4 Construction and Architecture

      5. 6.4.5 Energy

      6. 6.4.6 Food

      7. 6.4.7 Other End-user Industries

    5. 6.5 Geography

      1. 6.5.1 North America

      2. 6.5.2 Europe

      3. 6.5.3 Asia-Pacific

      4. 6.5.4 Rest of the World


    1. 7.1 Company Profiles

      1. 7.1.1 Stratasys Ltd

      2. 7.1.2 3D Systems Corporation

      3. 7.1.3 EOS GmbH

      4. 7.1.4 General Electric Company (GE Additive)

      5. 7.1.5 Sisma S.P.A.

      6. 7.1.6 ExOne Co.

      7. 7.1.7 SLM Solutions Group AB

      8. 7.1.8 Proto Labs Inc.

      9. 7.1.9 Hewlett Packard Inc.

      10. 7.1.10 Nano Dimernsion Ltd

      11. 7.1.11 Ultimaker B.V.

      12. 7.1.12 Mcor Technologies

      13. 7.1.13 Xyzprinting

      14. 7.1.14 Beijing Tiertime Technology

      15. 7.1.15 Renishaw

      16. 7.1.16 Royal DSM

      17. 7.1.17 Nano Dimension

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The 3D Printing Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The 3D Printing Market is growing at a CAGR of 29.48% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

Stratasys Ltd., 3D Systems Corporation, ExOne Co., General Electric Company (GE Additive), Proto Labs Inc. are the major companies operating in 3D Printing Market.

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