The cost of 3-D printers is falling, making this new technology accessible to more and more consumers and businesses. As take-up of 3-D printing continues to rise over the coming years, the value of the 3-D printing materials market will experience huge growth.
A new report from Research and Markets predicts that the market for 3-D printing materials will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4% between 2014 and 2019, reaching $1.052 billion by the end of the forecast period. These materials include plastics (such as photopolymers, ABS, PLA and nylon), metals (including steel, silver and aluminum), ceramics (such as silica, glass and quartz) and other materials like wax and laywood.
North America held the largest share of the 3-D printing materials market in 2013 and is expected to remain in a leading position, with strong growth in both consumer and industrial applications. Other significant markets include Japan, China, the United Kingdom and Germany. In particular, mass customization and adoption of 3-D printers in the consumer market is driving growth in North America.
Beyond consumer applications, the 3-D printing materials market is driven by the aerospace, defense, medical and automotive industries. Research and Markets noted that 3-D printing materials have been well perceived in various dominant end-user markets in the last few decades and are expected to be used in print electronics in the near future.