Global 3D Printer Market Size, Share, Opportunities, COVID-19 Impact, And Trends By Component (Hardware, Software, Services), By Material Type (Polymers, Metals And Alloys, Ceramics, Other), By End-User (Aerospace, Medical, Defense, Automotive, Other End Users), By Application (Functional Prototyping, Tooling, Educational Purpose), By Technology (CJP, DMLS, SLS, MJ, Others), And By Geography - Forecasts From 2022 To 2027

  • Published : May 2022
  • Report Code : KSI061614200
  • Pages : 121

The global 3D printer market is estimated to be valued at US2.080 billion in 2020.

A 3D printer is a device that can manufacture products by a process known as additive manufacturing, in which a 3D object can be printed layer by layer through a digital 3D model that is provided by the user. These printers are used by mainly two types of audiences: higher-end industrial manufacturers and lower-end consumer craftsmen. 3D printers have started to appear in the automotive and aviation industry to produce parts that require high levels of accuracy. 3D printing technology has been used by NASA to create complicated component geometries. Furthermore, the expansion of the aerospace and defence industries is driving up demand for 3D printing technology, which is expected to drive market growth. The aerospace and military industry in the United States produced $909 billion in sales in 2019, according to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), representing a significant annual growth rate of 6.7 percent over the previous year. Space systems grew faster than the rest of the sector, gaining over 9% in revenue, while commercial aerospace grew at a slower rate of 7%. Also, in the medical world, scientists have started to produce body parts and organs using regenerative tissues from the patients’ bodies using 3D printing technology. However, despite the advancements in the 3D printing industry, experts warn that the materials used in 3D printing may have harmful effects on the environment and the human body. Although Polylactic Acid (PLA, the material used for 3D printing) has been rated as biodegradable, the use of PLA in manufacturing 3D printed objects emits harmful gases into the environment and may also produce microplastics that might have adverse effects on the human body.

The COVID-19 pandemic left a lasting effect on most manufacturers. The COVID-19 epidemic has had a detrimental influence on rapid prototyping market share since manufacturing operations were temporarily suspended throughout key industrial centres, resulting in a considerable output slowdown. The 3D printer industry also saw a decline in the purchase of printers by individual users during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many prominent organizations purchased 3D printers during this time. Since global supply chains were disrupted and supplies were scarce, 3D printers were used to print masks, PPE kits, and other medical equipment required by medical professionals and hospitals. 3D-printed disposable and biodegradable products were also cheap to produce, which solved a major problem of proper disposal of medical equipment.

Growing prevalence in the prototyping market

3D printing uses materials including plastics, resins, nylon, metals, etc. The cost of manufacturing products with these materials is cheaper compared to traditional manufacturing techniques. Most 3D printed products are also biodegradable and environmentally friendly since they use materials acquired from natural substances.

 3D printing prototypes, also known as Rapid Prototyping, help save manufacturers from wasting a ton of material since 3D printing technologies are much more accurate and can work error-free. Rapid prototyping is also being used by the US Department of Defense to aid in the efficient testing and design of weapons and protective clothing. The US Reform Act mandates the use of competitive prototyping in large-scale defence procurement operations due to its inherent benefits. Rapid prototyping has also shown significant field success in detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and new technology developments are expected to boost the prototyping industry’s prominence as a tool in the toolkits of federal and defence commanders.

Because of the 3D printer’s cheap and accurate printing technique, they have been used in industries such as aircraft, automobile, aerospace, etc. Many companies such as Protolabs and 3ERP also help designers by 3D printing prototypes for them. This helps designers better understand their design flaws and properties.

Use of 3D printers in the medical field

3D printers are known for their cost and time-efficient manufacturing techniques. A 3D printer can manufacture most objects at a fraction of the time required by any other manufacturing procedure. 3D printing is also very accurate and can manufacture complex designs with ease. This is primarily why medical experts now prefer 3D printing complex medical equipment and medicines. According to a report by UNCTAD, 98% of hearing aids worldwide are being manufactured using 3D printing.

 3D printing techniques, such as bioprinting, have also been known to produce human organs. 3D printers have produced organs such as the human bladder, human kidneys, etc. Doctors can also 3D print body parts such as ears, noses, dentures, etc., in a very short period.

Building cost-efficient housing structures

According to an estimate by the UN-Habitat, by 2030, about 40% of the world’s population will require access to affordable housing solutions. This means that 96,000 additional cheap and accessible housing units will be needed every day. 3D printing may prove to be of use in building houses economically and efficiently. Markets like China, India, and Africa have already started using 3D printing technology to build houses that are economical and can be built within much less time. In 2014, Winsun, a Chinese construction company, built ten houses in 24 hours with an average cost of less than US$5000 per house.

According to Tvasta, an Indian 3D printing construction company, the cost of constructing a 3D-printed house could be estimated to be about 20% of the total cost of an average apartment.

Better alternatives to 3D printing

Even though the use of 3D printing for the manufacture of goods may be efficient, it requires much technical know-how. A user needs to create a digital 3D model on applications such as CADD, Autodesk, etc., which require a substantial amount of time and expertise. Also, 3D printing is only limited to some materials. Most 3D printers use polymer filaments, which is not always a favourable option for most manufacturers. While a few 3D printers offer some metals and other materials as raw materials options, not all metals and plastics can be used. A good alternative to 3D printing can be CNC milling.

CNC mills can be used instead of traditional additive manufacturing methods. CNC milling is a subtractive manufacturing technology that allows you to cut materials to generate a print accurately. Glass, wood, and metals are among the materials CNC mills can cut through. In the event that post-processing is necessary, CNC mills also can polish, slot, and grind the print. This gives the CNC mill a lot more prototype flexibility than a 3D printer. In the automotive, aviation, and aerospace industries, CNC milling is extremely common. It's also used in the production of industrial and medical machinery.

North America to become a hub for 3D printing technology

North America is expected to grow substantially in the 3D printing market, primarily due to the increased government support in this area. Also, since the customs duties on Electronically Transmitted Products in the US have been reduced to zero, the 3D printing market has become more affordable. The major companies in the 3D printing market include 3D Systems Corporation, Stratasys Ltd., the ExOne Company, etc., all of which are based in the US.

The US aeronautics and space industry has also been using 3D printing technology to produce and develop important hardware and equipment for research. SpaceX claims to have spent several years perfecting the 3D printing technology for flight equipment. Using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) 3D printing technology, the team 3D printed a SuperDraco engine chamber constructed of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy.  SpaceX sent its first 3D-printed rocket engine component on the Falcon 9 rocket for the THAICOM 6 mission. 

The US Department of Defense has also been employing technologies such as 3D print prototyping and platform modernization to aid in the efficient testing and design of weapons and protective clothing for some years. Rapid prototyping has helped significantly in the success and detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Experts predict that future technical developments will elevate the 3D printer's prominence as an essential part of the development of defence equipment.


  • By Component
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Services
  • By Material Type
    • Polymers
    • Metals and Alloys
    • Ceramics
    • Other
  • By End-User
    • Aerospace
    • Medical
    • Defense
    • Automotive
    • Other End Users
  • By Application
    • Functional Prototyping
    • Tooling
    • Educational Purpose
  • By Technology
    • CJP
    • DMLS
    • SLS
    • MJ
    • Others
  • By Geography
    • North America
      • USA
      • Canada
      • Mexico
    • South America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Others
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • France
      • UK
      • Others
    • Middle East and Africa
      • Saudi Arabia
      • UAE
      • Others
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • South Korea
      • Taiwan
      • Thailand
      • Indonesia
      • Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The 3D printer market is estimated to be valued at US2.080 billion in 2020.
Prominent key market players in the global video streaming services market include Stratasys Ltd, 3D Systems Corp., Koninklijke Philips N.V, 3ERP, FARO Technologies Inc., and The ExOne Co. among others.
The global 3D printer market has been segmented by component, material type, end-user, application, technology, and geography.
Growing prevalence in the prototyping market is a major factor driving demand for the 3D printer market.
North America is expected to grow substantially in the 3D printer market due to the increased government support in this area.

1. Introduction
1.1. Market Definition
1.2. Market Segmentation

2. Research Methodology
2.1. Research Data
2.2. Assumptions

3. Executive Summary
3.1. Research Highlights

4. Market Dynamics
4.1. Market Drivers
4.2. Market Restraints
4.3. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
4.3.1. Bargaining Power of End-Users
4.3.2. Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.3.3. Threat of New Entrants
4.3.4. Threat of Substitutes
4.3.5. Competitive Rivalry in the Industry
4.4. Industry Value Chain Analysis

5. Global 3D Printer Market Analysis, by Component
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Hardware
5.3. Software
5.4. Services

6. Global 3D Printer Market Analysis, by Material Type
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Plastics
6.3. Metals and Alloys
6.4. Ceramics
6.5. Other

7. Global 3D Printer Market Analysis, by End User
7.1. Introduction
7.2. Aerospace
7.3. Medical
7.4. Defense
7.5. Automotive
7.6. Other End Users

8. Global 3D Printer Market Analysis, by Application
8.1. Functional Prototyping
8.2. Tooling
8.3. Educational Purpose

9. Global 3D Printer Market Analysis, by Technology
9.1. CJP
9.2. DMLS
9.3. SLS
9.4. MJ
9.5. Others

10. Global 3D Printer Market Analysis, by Geography
10.1. Introduction
10.2. North America
10.2.1. USA
10.2.2. Canada
10.2.3. Mexico
10.3. South America
10.3.1. Brazil
10.3.2. Argentina
10.3.3. Others
10.4. Europe
10.4.1. Germany
10.4.2. France
10.4.3. UK
10.4.4. Others
10.5. Middle East and Africa
10.5.1. Saudi Arabia
10.5.2. UAE
10.5.3. Others
10.6. Asia Pacific
10.6.1. China
10.6.2. India
10.6.3. Japan
10.6.4. South Korea
10.6.5. Taiwan
10.6.6. Thailand
10.6.7. Indonesia
10.6.8. Others

11. Competitive Environment and Analysis
11.1. Major Players and Strategy Analysis
11.2. Emerging Players and Market Lucrativeness
11.3. Mergers, Acquisitions, Agreements, and Collaborations
11.4. Vendor Competitiveness Matrix

12. Company Profiles 
12.1. Stratasys Ltd
12.2. 3D Systems Corp.
12.3. Materialise NV 3ERP
12.4. FARO Technologies Inc.
12.5. The ExOne Co.
12.6. Makerbot
12.7. Relativity Space
12.8. Proto Labs Inc.
12.10. Materialise NV

Stratasys Ltd

3D Systems Corp.

Materialise NV 3ERP

FARO Technologies Inc.

The ExOne Co.


Relativity Space

Proto Labs Inc.


Materialise NV