Gartner reports global 3D printer shipments will total 455772 units in 2016-- a 108% increase over the 219168 units shipped in 2015, and a number set to reach over 6.7 million by 2020.
Growth in W. Europe should be "very strong" in 2016, even if it will be beaten by the high growth rates experienced in Chin and Asia/Pacific regions.
"Once a niche market, 3D printing has continued its rapid transformation into a broad-based mainstream technology embraced by consumers and enterprises around the world," the analyst remarks. "The evolution of hardware and software along with an ever-expanding collection of usable materials has driven growth in both the consumer and enterprise 3D printing markets."
3D printing is no longer the preserve of specialist industries, and currently finds a variety of uses in both consumer and enterprise applications. For instance it is used to create prototypes, augment manufacturing process and produce finished products, and Gartner expects more processes to emerge, leading to wider and more diverse growth.Continue reading...