Active Stocks
Tue Nov 28 2023 15:55:00
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 126.85 0.75%
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 697.6 3.56%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 210.15 -0.19%
  1. ICICI Bank share price
  2. 926.05 -0.33%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 564.55 0.76%
Business News/ Industry / Infotech/  Worldwide shipments of 3D Printers to grow 49% in 2013
Back Back

Worldwide shipments of 3D Printers to grow 49% in 2013

Research firm Gartner says 3D printing has huge potential in India, which has seen the emergence of local manufacturers

3D printers deposit layer on layer of a specific material to print goods. They have been used to make even a real firearm. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/ AFPPremium
3D printers deposit layer on layer of a specific material to print goods. They have been used to make even a real firearm. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/ AFP

Mumbai: In the past 12 months, India has seen a transformation in the three-dimensional, or 3D, printing industry with the emergence of local 3D printer manufacturers, according to a new report by research firm Gartner Inc.

3D printing can be extensively used in India because the country has a diverse and growing manufacturing industry that supports a wide range of markets and leverages strong research and development (R&D) capabilities that are in-country, said the report released on Wednesday.

It added that the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities and improved performance could drive the market.

“The country has a very vibrant ‘maker’ community, and many new entrants and hobbyists are developing 3D printer variations based on the open source RepRap initiative,“ said Zalak Shah, research analyst at Gartner.

“In a developing country like India, 3D printing has huge potential and exciting opportunities which are being explored, like remote printing of products and recycling of household plastic waste for feeding the printers."

The report also forecast worldwide shipments of 3D printers priced less than $100,000 to grow 49% in 2013 to reach a total of 56,507 units.

3D printers deposit layer on layer of a specific material to print goods. They have been used to make even a real firearm and not just that—jewellery, toothbrushes, football boots, racing car parts, aeroplanes, houses and custom-designed cakes—thus promising to change the way we manufacture goods and do business.

In February, an 83-year-old woman became the first person to get a 3D printer-created jaw, simply taking forward the 3D printing story that has been around for around a decade but has been making waves for the last two years.

Made from titanium powder, heated and built-up in layers in a 3D printer, the lower jaw of the woman was given a bioceramic coating. The implant was designed and built by LayerWise—a Belgian metal parts manufacturer which maintains that 3D printing could reduce costs of medical treatment, since operations would be quicker and recovery time shorter.

And it was only in July 2102 that engineers at the University of Southampton emulated the Wright brothers and printed an aircraft. The engineers, according to an institute release, designed and flew the world’s first ‘printed’ aircraft, “which could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design".

The Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft (SULSA) plane is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) whose entire structure has been printed, including the wings, integral control surfaces and access hatches. SULSA is part of the engineering and physical sciences research council-funded DECODE project, which is employing the use of manufacturing techniques such as laser sintering, to demonstrate their use in the design of UAVs.

Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printing technologies will drive enterprise and consumer demand, said the Gartner report, adding that shipments will increase further in 2014, growing 75% to 98,065 units, followed by a near-doubling of unit shipments in 2015.

In 2013, combined end-user spending on 3D printers will reach $412 million, up 43% from $288 million in 2012. Enterprise spending will total more than $325 million in 2013, while the consumer segment will reach nearly $87 million, said the report.

“As the products rapidly mature, organizations will increasingly exploit 3D printing’s potential in their laboratory, product development and manufacturing operations," said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner, adding that Gartner foresees consumers moving from being curious about the technology to finding reasons to justify purchases as price points, applications and functionality become more attractive in the next 18 months.

Growth in regions

3D printers have historically been sold in small quantities with most of the early additive manufacturing devices sold to the North America, western Europe and mature Asia-Pacific regions.

While the North American and western European regions have so far dominated the market, Greater China’s 98.8% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) will outstrip them by up to six points by 2017, said the report.

In mature Asia-Pacific countries, shipments of 3D printers are forecast to grow 52.1% in 2013 to reach 3,817 units and 70,295 units by 2017, while in emerging Asia-Pacific markets, total shipments are expected to grow 55.7% to reach 1,643 units in 2013 and reach more than 14,800 units in 2017.

Greater China’s emphasis on developing its additive manufacturing base, including national, regional and city government initiatives to support business and research initiatives, will drive strong growth, conservatively lifting its purchases from one-quarter of western Europe’s to one-third by 2017.

Impact of 3D printing

Gartner predicts that 3D printing will have a high impact on industries including consumer products, a medium impact on construction, education, energy, government, medical products, military, retail, telecommunications, transportation and utilities; and a low impact on banking and financial services and insurance.

From an enterprise point of view, current uses of 3D technology focus on one-off or small-run models for product design and industrial prototyping, jigs and fixtures used in manufacturing processes and mass customization of finished goods. As advances in 3D printers, scanners, design tools and materials reduce the cost and complexity of creating 3D printed items, the applications of 3D print technology will continue to expand to include areas such as architecture, defence, medical products and jewellery design.

“The hype around consumer 3D printing has made enterprises aware that the price point and functionality of 3DP (3D printers) has changed significantly over the last five years, driving increased shipments beginning in 2014," said Basiliere.

3D printer prices, according to Gartner, will decrease during the next several years due to competitive pressures and higher shipment volumes, even after allowing for providers who will be offering devices with higher performance, functionality and quality that enable them to hold the line on pricing.

Gartner expects that by 2015, seven of the 50 largest multinational retailers will sell 3D printers through their physical and online stores.

Milestone Alert!
Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 02 Oct 2013, 05:36 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Infotech Stocks
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App