Unraveling the Future: The Ups and Downs of 3D Printing Companies


Contrasting outcomes cover

Are we growing or not? [Source: Fabbaloo / D3]

I’m reading a financial forecast for 3D printing and it doesn’t seem to match the current state of the industry.

The report, from Additive Manufacturing Research, is from their annual AM Parts Produced report. Among other data, the report provides an estimate of the total value of polymer and metal 3D printed parts made currently annually and a forecast into future years. It’s based on real market activity up to mid-2023, and their own projections for the future.

There were several highlights from the report provided, including:

  • Metal prototyping slowed, but end use metal part production increased
  • Polymer prototyping increased slightly, and end use parts increased
  • They project polymer powder bed fusion (e.g. SLS) will double that of extrusion (e.g. FFF)
  • Mixed results in the dental sector, a major usage area for the technology

What caught my eye, however was this statement:

”3D printed parts expected to reach $18.8B in value in 2023, grow to $119B in 2032.”

That is a rather large rise in usage, and in only nine years.

Projected industry growth [Source: Additive Manufacturing Research]

This seems contrary to recent discussions about the 3D print industry. Those discussion basically read like this:

  • An enormous amount of capital investment has been placed into the 3D print industry
  • The companies invested into have not grown proportionate to the investments
  • Revenues are flat
  • The total value of the industry is far less than the investments placed

This all sounds bad, and it seems that the technology is gaining a bad reputation among investors because of this.

Some argue that the industry accepted the funds but didn’t perform because they lacked innovation and became reliant on large subsidies. Speculation has even indicated a decline in the industry. I produced a response in which I conceded that, indeed, a number of firms find themselves in this predicament, but there are also many that are thriving, mostly without the dependency on substantial VC funding.

Currently, we are in a situation in which numerous major 3D printing businesses don’t carry the value intended by their investments. This situation is bound to lead to some sort of failure and consolidation, although we have no way of predicting the outcome.

Moving forward to the research prediction: in today’s world, where “the industry is dying,” “earnings are stagnant,” and “consolidation is on the horizon,” how can revenue increase by more than six times within nine years? This would require a 25% increase each year for nine consecutive years.

The research is most likely based on anticipated demand. In other words, the demand for 3D printed parts from companies will likely increase each year. The need for providers of these parts will be imminent.

The prevailing query tends to revolve around why the current company appraisals remain so low if the demand prediction is factual. Shouldn’t these companies thrive in 2032 with a projected 6.2X demand kernel?

Fault might lie in the rendering of the technology itself. Existing technologies deployed by these companies could potentially be too highly-priced to magnify, positing that novel methods might be warranted to adequately cover the surge in requirement.

My personal sentiment echoes the belief that in 2032, the necessity for 3D printed components will surpass today’s demand by considerable bounds. But concurrently, I hold a strong conviction that today’s fore companies would not be able to fulfill this requirement sans new advancements in technology. This cultivates a consistent lookout for newly emerged 3D printing technologies with a focus on their efficiency, overall cost, and scalability.

With an endless pool of newly debuted 3D printing technologies each year, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a selection of these boasting the scalability that could potentially address the requirements of 2032.

Existing leaders might find it beneficial to identify and acquire new players swiftly.

Via Additive Manufacturing Research

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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Meet the mastermind behind NozzleNerds.com: GCode-Guru, a 3D printing wizard whose filament collection rivals their sock drawer. Here to demystify 3D tech with a mix of expert advice, epic fails, and espresso-fueled rants. If you've ever wondered how to print your way out of a paper bag (or into a new coffee cup), you're in the right place. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us—where the only thing more abundant than our prints is our sarcasm.


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