Stratasys - June 2015 (Desktop Engineering)

"The State of the 3D Printing Solutions Market"

Product design and development is increasingly a digital process. Simulations, virtual prototypes and digital twins help companies face the challenge of designing better, more complex products faster — but they only go so far. Design engineers need a physical prototype to validate form, fit and function, and to get approval on design changes. In the past, that meant expensive, time-consuming custom manufacturing that could be a bottleneck to product development. Now, 3D printing allows design engineers to quickly move between the digital and physical worlds so they can maintain the pace of innovation that is required by today’s tight product development deadlines. 

There are examples of 3D printing’s benefits in nearly every industry. The titans of the aerospace and automotive industries are using 3D printing technology for prototyping and end-use parts, following in the footsteps of smaller industry sectors like racing, jewelry making and prosthetics where 3D printing’s ease of customization is a key competitive advantage. Every day, more companies discover different ways that 3D printing can optimize their product design workflow

This technology’s explosion in popularity among hobbyists, coupled with advances made in 3D printing applications and materials over the past 30-plus years, explains why the 3D printing market continues to see amazing growth. It grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35.2 percent to $4.1 billion in 2014, according to industry consultant Terry Wohlers. The future looks even brighter. IDTechEx estimates that the 3D printing market could reach $20 billion in revenues in the next decade.

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