x Brown

Decoding the 3D Printing Landscape: New Report

Decoding the 3D printing landscape: Hubs 2023 Trend Report summary

Hubs, a leading online manufacturing platform, has published its newest 3D Printing Trend Report. It is based on insights from over a thousand of customers and manufacturing partners, extensive review of news and media, and findings from top market analyst firms.

3D printing market growth and predictionsThe report highlights the increasing adoption of 3D printing for large-scale orders, marking its evolution from a hobbyist’s tool to a robust industrial solution. The survey conducted in February 2023 with 1,035 participants brings to light the market’s growth. A majority of respondents, 71%, revealed they 3D printed more parts in 2022 compared to 2021. The surge in 3D printing usage is evident in the industry’s market size, which soared to $17.05 billion in 2022 at an annual growth rate of 13%. The driving force behind this growth can be attributed to 83% of businesses reporting substantial cost reductions through 3D printing.

The upward trend is projected to continue through 2023. Based on Hubs’ internal data and CAGR forecasts from 10 leading market analysis firms, the 3D printing market is projected to grow by 17%, reaching $19.9 billion by 2023. The polymer AM market generated over twice the revenue compared to its metal counterpart. However, metal additive manufacturing experienced stronger growth than polymer in 2022 and is expected to continue growing at a higher rate.

Shifting focus to printer hardware, there was a notable increase in revenue in 2022, despite a 4% decline in global shipments during the same period. This is likely due to inflation and rising machine costs. Personal 3D printers experienced the biggest decrease in shipments, while industrial polymer systems had a marginal 2% drop. Industrial metal systems, on the other hand, saw a slight increase in shipments in 2022.

3D printing’s impact on key industriesThe report highlights the primary applications of 3D printing, with prototyping leading at 66%. It is followed by tooling and end-use part production, enabling mass customization and minimizing machine downtimes.

The Aerospace industry, an early adopter of additive manufacturing, continues to be a key player in the 3D printing space. The technology’s ability to create lightweight components that enhance aircraft fuel efficiency is particularly appealing to the industry. AM also provides a high degree of agility to the medical industry. Currently, it is used in the production of patient-specific implants, prosthetics, surgical guides and instruments, anatomical models, dental products, and more. The report also explores other industries poised for transformation, including food, fashion, motorsports, bioprinting, and space.

Future of 3D printingLooking ahead, the report dives into the impact of AI and smart materials (4D printing) on additive manufacturing. It offers insights from industry experts on how cutting-edge technologies like AI and smart materials (4D printing) will shape the future of additive manufacturing. AI-enabled solutions, such as in-print monitoring, can significantly improve consistency and quality control. Other AI tools could streamline generative design and make complex elements more accessible in the 3D printing process. Smart materials can be a game changer in healthcare for applications like targeted drug delivery. Other industries such as aerospace, furniture, packaging, and wearables are also exploring smart materials to create innovative solutions.

Green by design: Additive manufacturing and sustainabilityThe report highlights how 3D printing opens up a manufacturing option with a lighter environmental footprint. For starters, it generates less waste compared to traditional manufacturing methods. Additive manufacturing also enables local production, eliminating the ecological footprint of long-distance transport. As filaments made from recycled sources become commercially available, the use of recycled materials is on the rise.The shape of things to comeAt present, 20.72% of the survey participants turn to 3D printing for the production of end-use parts. However, as the technology continues to evolve towards improved efficiency, speed and accessibility, we expect a steady growth in the adoption of 3D printing as a full-fledged manufacturing method. The tale of 3D printing is characterized by ongoing evolution. Moving forward, we can expect new layers of this agile technology that will reshape our world and the way we interact with it.

For more insights, download the full report here and access all the images here. For more digital assets, please visit this page or feel free to reach out to us via email.

About HubsHubs is an on-demand digital manufacturing platform that was founded in Amsterdam in 2013 (as “3D Hubs”). The platform offers easy access to a wide variety of manufacturing capabilities supplied by a global network of more than 300 manufacturing partners. Hubs’ broad capabilities include the ability to produce geometrically complex and highly cosmetic custom parts using CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding and more. Hubs was acquired by Protolabs in 2021 to bring customers the world’s most comprehensive manufacturing solution. 

TrustedParts x A

About The Author

thumbnail TrustedParts x B