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Low-cost 3D printers driving massive growth

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 1, 2015
China leads the world with an annual 3D printer growth rate of 172.9 percent.

Consumer machines with prices at under $1,000 or in the $1,001-to-$2,500 range have particularly high rates of sales. Of those two groups, sub-$1,000 3D printers make up 25.5% of the sales, but are expected to grow to 40.7% of that market by 2019.

North America and Western Europe continue to dominate 3D printer sales with 66.2% of the total shipments in 2014, however, both regions will experience lower shipment growth rates compared to other regions.

Historically, 3D printers were sold in the regions where they were made: North America, Western Europe, Japan and, more recently, China.

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While slow, and somewhat lackluster in features, XYZPrinting's da Vinci machines cost as little as $349 for a device well suited to beginners. Credit: XYZPrinting

Greater China now has the highest 3D printer annual growth rate at 172.9%, which is being driven by national support for the technology and investments in education, business and research. Eurasia comes in second with a 131.7% combined annual growth rate, and the emerging Asia/Pacific region is third at 126.4%.

The fastest-growing segment of the 3D market is materials, which include polymer filaments. The material extrusion market is expected to lead shipments this year with 232,336 units, increasing to 5,527,493 units in 2019.

The material extrusion market is largely growing due to sales of low cost, entry-level material extrusion printers, Gartner stated.


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