IDC forecasts worldwide spending on 3D printing to be nearly $12 billion in 2018

The International Data
(IDC) has updated its Worldwide Semiannual 3D
Printing Spending Guide forecasting market-wide spending on
additive manufacturing throughout 2018.

IDC’s international team of analysts looked at key markets
across 9 regions including Europe, Asia/Pacific and the U.S.

In the trifecta of 3D printing, hardware will constitute $6.9
billion, materials $6.7 billion, and software will experience a
slower growth than the rest of the market.

Led by The Big Three: Automotive, Aerospace and Medicine

Of the 7+ industries analyzed Discrete Manufacturing, i.e.
making distinct items such as cars, planes and toys, is
expected to come out on top of spending. Second, is 3D printing
in healthcare, with an estimated total spend of nearly $1.3
billion in 2018.

A number of heavyweight industrial projects are likely to
contribute to this trend. In 2017 defense and aerospace
Lockheed Martin spent $350 million on a new center for advanced
satellite production
that would include industrial additive
manufacturing. In medical, one of the biggest spends of the
year was laid out by the
National Institutes of Health’s $6.25 million center for 3D
bioprinting and regenerative medicine.

Healthcare is also expected to experience the fastest growth,
turning an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of
35.4%. 3D printing/bioprinting solutions for tissue, organ and
bone are cited as leading the spend.

Chart showing top spends by application as forecasted by IDC. Image via IDCChart showing top
spends by application as forecasted by IDC. Image via IDC

On-demand services 

Marianne D’Aquila, research manager, Customer Insights and
Analysis at IDC comments, “3D printing solutions have moved
well beyond prototyping, to become prevalent within and across
multiple industries.”

As such 3D printing services, offered by specialist 3D printing
bureaus and 3D printer manufacturers, are expected to reach an
annual spend of £5.5 billion by 2021, with a focus on on-demand
part production and supply-chain system integration.

D’Aquila continues, “Parts for new products, aftermarket parts,
dental objects, and medical support objects will continue to
see significant growth opportunities over the next five years
as 3D printing goes more mainstream.”

“The healthcare industry is also poised to double its share
of spend through 2021 as the benefits of cost-effective
customized printing continue to be realized.”

3D printed prototype of the custom made shoulder replacement. Photo via novilist.hr3D printed prototype
of the custom made shoulder replacement. Photo via

The tip of the iceberg

As expected, the U.S. will be the region doing the most
spending in 2018 and Western Europe follows, together
providing almost two thirds of the forecasted goals.

Interestingly China, who dominated the floor at CES 2018, will
be the third largest region with more than $1.5 billion in
spending this year.

Overall, 6 of the 9 regions analyzed will experience a CAGR
greater than 20% by 2021.

IDC’s Worldwide
Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide
is available in
summary online here.

“Even though there are amazing innovations nearly every day in
the way 3D printers are used in key industries, including
automotive, aerospace, and medical,” concludes Tim Greene,
research director, Hardcopy Peripherals and 3D Printing,

“we believe that we’re still just scratching the surface of
the potential for 3D printing as an enabler of digital

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Featured image shows a graphic representating all the areas
consider in IDC’s Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide 2018.
Image via IDC

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