In 2013, the market of 3D printing was worth USD 3 billion already with sales of around 72,000 units. Since then, the global figure has grown threefold and has reached USD 11 billion in 2015 for a total 250,000 units sold. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the 3D printing could grow threefold again in just 3 years by jumping to around USD 26 billion by 2019, meaning an average 27% annual growth each year from now.
Such a skyrocketing growth indicates that, simultaneously with robotics, 3D printing has become a major participant in what Cyceon deemed a paradigmatic change of our societies. Robots replacing human workers and 3D printers turning our own garage into an autonomous production unit could become reality sooner than expected, like group SEB whose CEO Thierry de la Tour d’Artaise said in February 2016 that half to two thirds of his company’s small appliance would be made available as files for 3D printers for on-demand production at home.
One can argue with the impressive figures of the sector’s future growth pace, however the growth of both industrial and personal 3D printing remains compelling. The quite limited profitability and the likely overvalued stocks of most of the 3D printing companies, the still quite high price of 3D printing for personal users and the side-effect of counterfeiting’s growth using 3D printing will be the main threats against the incredible momentum of the 3D production industrial revolution.