LONDON: Global 3D printer shipments are expected to increase to more than 490,000 in 2016, a new study has found. Research from Gartner found that the 3D printer market is expected to enjoy rapid growth as worldwide shipments are set to reach 5.6 million. The findings suggest that shipments will reach 496,475 units in 2016, marking a 103 per cent rise from the forecasted 244,533 units in 2015.
Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner, said: “Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printer technologies are driving both enterprise and consumer demand, with unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers increasing significantly.
“The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers.”
A total of seven technologies make up the 3D printer market and material extrusion is set to lead 2015 shipments at 232, 336 units before rising to 5,527,493 units in 2019 as a result of the sales of entry-level extrusion printers.
Average selling prices (ASPs) vary by technology and market, with each of these having different dynamics such as the mix of devices, prices and buyer requirements that push forward the average for all 3D printers in a field of technology.
Global shipments by price band are affected by the 3D printer technologies represented within them, particularly the bands valued up to $1,000 and between $1,000 and $2,500.
Gartner found that 3D printers costing less than $1,000 will represent 25.5 per cent of the total of these two price bands in 2015, before growing to 40.7 per cent of the $1 to $2,500 range by 2019.
Mr Basiliere explained that enterprise 3D printers can prototype new products and produce tools and fixtures that are utilised to make other items while running high-quality and short-run finished goods.