Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., September 29, 2015 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Worldwide Shipments of 3D Printers to Reach More Than 490,000 in 2016

3D Printer Market Set for Rapid Growth With Worldwide Shipments Forecast to Top 5.6 Million

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 496,475 units in 2016, up 103 percent from the predicted 244,533 units in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc.'s latest forecast. 3D printer shipments are forecast to more than double every year between 2016 and 2019, by which time worldwide shipments are expected to reach more than 5.6 million. 

"Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printer technologies are driving both enterprise and consumer demand, with unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers increasing significantly," said Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner. "The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers." 

Seven technologies constitute the 3D printer market, with material extrusion forecast to lead 2015 shipments at 232,336 units, increasing to 5,527,493 units in 2019 (97.5 percent of the total) largely due to the sales of low cost, entry-level material extrusion printers. 

Average selling prices (ASPs) vary by technology and market. Each market has different dynamics, including the mix of devices, prices and buyer requirements that drive the average for all 3D printers in a given technology. Directed-energy deposition printers are the most highly priced, followed by powder bed fusion printers.

Worldwide shipments by price band are affected by the 3D printer technologies represented within them. Of particular note are the up-to-$1,000 and $1,001-to-$2,500 bands, which are dominated by material extrusion devices. 3D printers costing less than $1,000 will make up 25.5 percent of the total of these two price bands in 2015, but will grow to 40.7 percent of the $1-to-$2,500 range by 2019. 

The primary market drivers for consumer 3D printers costing under $2,500 are not household purchases but acquisitions of low-cost devices by schools and universities. The primary enterprise 3D printer market drivers are the finished-piece quality and material advances. 

"Enterprise 3D printers can not only prototype new products and produce tools and fixtures that are used to make other items, but also print high-quality, short-run finished goods,” said Mr. Basiliere. “This multifaceted ability is driving their growth worldwide." 

More detailed analysis is available in the report "Forecast: 3D Printers, Worldwide, 2015." 

Trends in 3D printing will be further discussed at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015, October 4-8 in Orlando, Florida

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and other senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on these events to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to overcome business challenges and improve operational efficiency. 

Additional information from the event will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc and using #GartnerSYM. 

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 include:

October 4-8, Orlando, Florida

October 19-22, Sao Paulo, Brazil

October 26-29, Gold Coast, Australia

October 28-30, Tokyo, Japan

November 2-5, Goa, India

November 8-12, Barcelona, Spain

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About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,100 associates, including more than 1,700 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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