Global 3D Printing Materials market to reach US$ 4.5 Billion in 2024

The Market size of the Global 3D Printing Materials Market is estimated to be worth US$ 1.5 Billion in 2019 and is poised to reach a market size of US$ 4.5 Billion in 2024 growing at a healthy CAGR of 25%.

The segment offers a plethora of opportunities for SMEs as the materials are extensively used across domains including Medical and Dental segment, Consumer & Industrial Goods, Aerospace & Defense and Automotive segments.

  • Definition / Scope
  • Market Overview
  • Market Risks
  • Market Trends
  • Industry Challenges
  • Technology Trends
  • Other Key Market Trends
  • Market Size and Forecast
  • Market Outlook
  • Technology Roadmap
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Competitive Factors
  • Key Market Players
  • Strategic Conclusion
  • References

Definition / Scope

From its humble beginnings in the late 1980s through to the evolution as a global force today, the capabilities of 3D printing technology has been dependent on the range of materials available compatible with the different printing processes.

The range of materials has continued to diversify over the course of time, with key 3D printing equipment manufacturers investing significant resources to bringing new materials to market.

3D Printing materials refers to the materials opted in 3D printing for creating 3D objects. These materials are added in layers to create the 3-Dimensional objects.  The major application of 3D Printing materials is in modelling of the projects.

The materials after being molded into the desired forms are used to develop full-color functional models and visual projects. The simulated designs in the software are printed in reality and 3D printers are available in the market according to the type of material used.

The 3D printing applications by material types used across several industrial verticals such as Medical and Dental Industry, Aerospace & Defense, Consumer Goods, Industrial Goods and Automotive Industry.

In the Medical Industry they are used by manufacturers of medical implants to 3D print patient-specific implants for immediate use in a fraction of the time of the traditional methods.

3D Printing materials offers a plethora of opportunities for SMEs as they involve low investments, closer customer engagements, expansion into new markets and higher margins

3D Printing materials are extensively used in the Automotive Industry, for the manufacturing of the scaled models, for the purpose of testing.

They are also used for components, such as bellows, front bumper, air conditioning ducting, suspension wishbone, dashboard interface, alternator mounting bracket, battery cover, etc. Automotive OEMs are using 3D Printing materials for rapid prototyping.

The Aerospace Industry uses 3D Printing materials to manufacture end-use parts such as Jigs and Fixtures, Surrogates, Mounting Brackets and Prototypes. They are primarily used in the Aerospace & Defense sector for cutting storage costs and reduce wasted production materials.

In the Consumer Goods Industry, 3D Printing materials are used for product design and development through the process of Rapid prototyping. Also 3D printing eliminates the need for tooling and thus helps reduction in cost and time for the development of prototypes and durable functional parts.

The 3D Printing materials market comprises major manufacturers such as 3D Systems (US), Arkema S.A. (France), Royal DSM (Netherlands), The ExOne Company (US), Stratasys Ltd. (US), General Electric (US), EOS GMBH Electro Optical Systems (Germany), Materialise NV (Belgium), Sandvik AB (Sweden), and Höganäs AB (Sweden).

Market Overview

Material Insights

Materials including photopolymers, thermoplastics, metals and others are used mostly in 3D printing.  Other categories of the material type include ceramics, laywood filaments, and wax.

The selection of materials is based on mechanical properties, manufacturing characteristics, appearance and cost.  The materials durability and flexibility is anticipated to raise their demand across the application industries.

Demand for photopolymers is expected to increase over the forecast period, reaching USD 1.7 billion by 2025. It is expected that the ease to manufacture models and complicated designs using photopolymers would fuel demand for the material.

Moreover, the growing use of 3D printing technology in the manufacture of complex equipment is expected to boost growth in the industry.

Metal is one of the dental industry’s preferred raw materials, in which implants are manufactured using metals such as titanium, copper, chromium, and cobalt.

Furthermore, growing demand from the aerospace sector is also expected to significantly drive the use of metal for 3D printing, thereby boosting market growth.

Also used as a 3D printing medium is Laywood filament which consists of recycled wood and polymer binder. Wide architectural models, bowls, and sculptures are made mostly from laywood filaments. The segment is expected to see growth with increased technology adoption across diverse application industries.

Application Insights

The Aerospace Application and Defense segment is projected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period. The segment is expected to reach 1.1 billion US dollars in 2025.

It is expected that through use of 3D Printing materials for the development of simple objects such as armrests to complex parts such as engine components would boost demand for 3D Printing materials.

Growing use of 3D Printing materials for medical purposes such as implants for knee and hip replacement, surgical tools, and prosthetics is expected to accelerate the market growth.

In addition, growing use of 3D printed models by doctors and surgeons in order to perform complex surgical operations is anticipated to further propel the industry growth.

Due to the growing manufacturing sector in China, Japan, and other economies, the consumer products and industrial application segment is expected to grow over the forecast period. Furthermore, the use of ceramics in home decor and art and sculpture is expected to foster market growth over the forecast period.

Other application category involves architecture, education, commercial products, and construction, leading to a significant share of the global market for 3D print materials. Growing adoption of 3D printing with increasing research activities and manufacturing methods in the architecture segment is expected to foster market growth.

Equipment Insights

The market was segmented into polyjet, fuse deposition modeling, selective laser sintering, stereolithography, and colorjet related equipment. Global fuse deposition modelling segment account for over 60% of the overall industry share in 2019.

Huge demand for this equipment or technology is due primarily to its widespread acceptance in all major end-user sectors such as the automotive, medical, aerospace, etc.

Regional Insights

North America’s market in 2018 stood at USD 328.5 million and is projected to grow over the forecast period due to the producers ‘ growing investments. Moreover, the presence of key players in the region coupled with a strong focus on technological advances is likely to drive the growth of the market.

Increasing demand for 3D printing products from Japan, China, and South Korea due to favorable government policies, widespread manufacturing base, and high investment in R&D is anticipated to foster growth in the industry. High demand for the product is projected to result in rising disposable income and improved living standards.

It is expected that rising demand from end-use industries such as automotive, defense, aerospace and consumers will have a positive impact on the market over the forecast period.

Moreover, the use of materials like metals, ceramics, and photopolymers for product design and manufacturing of parts is expected to further boost growth in the industry.

Rapid industrialization coupled with the development of infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region is expected to have a positive impact on market growth. Increasing R&D investments by countries like China, India, Japan and Indonesia are also expected to drive the market in upgrading aerospace and defense equipment and parts.

Market Risks

Consolidated Market

The Global 3D Printer Material market is highly consolidated and concentrated with 4 of the major players occupying 60% of the market share in 2019. The consolidated state of the 3D printer material market is a bane for the new entrants as it offers little to no room for market expansion.

The Global 3D printer material market is concentrated with few of the global giants occupying a major share of the pie and they are focussed on offering innovative products through their R&D activities, which is a no-goer for the new entrants as they have shoe-string margins for their R&D activities.

The consolidated nature of the Global 3D printer material market affects the profitability of existing players and acts as a blockade for new entrants.

Limited Number of Materials

According to a Survey of 3D Printing Stakeholders in Manufacturing 2019, 94 per cent of surveyed companies say designers choose traditional manufacturing due to the lack of additive materials.

Limited material choice makes it difficult to employ the use of 3D printing for a greater number of applications. If one is printing with different materials, one may have to buy different 3D printers. As every printer support a limited number of materials.

A 3D printing process printing with metal would not print with plastics and vice versa. Moreover, some 3D printers can only print with PLA when it comes to plastics. Some have the provision to print with different plastic materials.

Top Market Opportunities

Adoption of 3D printing technology in Home printing

3D printing has been in the market from the last 30 years, but the sudden increase in the hype is due to the availability of home 3D printers. These home printers are available in the market at very low costs, which is auguring well for the increased demand for home printers, thereby leading to high growth of the 3D Printing materials market.

At present these printers are available in homes, offices, computer stores and shopping hubs, where one can create inexpensive products in a considerably short span of time.

The home printers use plastic materials for 3D printing, specifically acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA). ABS and PLA are flexible in nature and are available in a variety of colours.

The home printers available in the market use these plastic materials that are available in filament forms. The cost of these materials varies with the diameter, colour, quality, ordered quantity and also the supplier.

The growing technological advancements have made 3D printing easy as there is no requirement of huge machine tools, and one can have a hands-on experience to print 3D objects.

The adoption of these 3D printed objects is also growing with the online service providers, including Shapeways, Ponoko, and Sculpteo; which is boosting the market growth significantly.

The explosive growth of elastomeric materials

Companies are increasingly adopting 3D printing for Medical, Consumer and Industrial applications, which require soft and flexible, yet tough and strong properties. This demand fuels the growth of the market for flexible materials like TPU and Silicone.

In just over the last six months, there’ve been several announcements around flexible materials for 3D printing. In July, global chemical company, Huntsman, introduced its range of soft, flexible IROPRINT AM materials for footwear applications.

Materials come in three forms – resin, powder and filament – and can be used to produce footwear, hoses and gaskets, robotic grippers, seals and other rubber-like applications.

Then German chemical company, Covestro, spotlighted a new application for its TPU material: 3D-printed orthopaedic insoles.

TPU is the material of choice for this application, thanks to its favourable range of properties. In particular, Covestro’s TPU products cover a wide range of hardness, which can be adjusted by changing the structure of an insole design. This means manufacturers can print shoe insoles that feature hard or soft contact areas, achieving ultimate customisation. 

Finally, EOS has recently expanded its polymer material portfolio with the launch of a new flexible EOS TPU 1301 powder. According to EOS, the EOS TPU 1301 offers great resilience after deformation, very good shock absorption and very high process stability.

The material is particularly suited for applications in footwear, lifestyle and automotive – including cushioning elements, protective gear and shoe soles.
Clearly, the availability of flexible materials allows companies to unlock new applications and benefit from 3D printing in many more niches.

Introduction of hybrid body structures

Currently, many OEM manufacturers are introducing hybrid body structures, which incorporate plastic and composite materials, in combination with traditional steel and light alloy components.

The deployment of these components is expected to drive the demand for carbon fiber, due to their lightweight and tough features, which contributes to lesser fuel consumption and offer humungous opportunities for the adoption of composite materials for the 3D printing process.

Market Trends

Rising Demand from Aerospace and Defense sector

The 3D printing technology is used mainly in the aerospace & defense market. The aviation industry is among the early adopters of the 3D printing technology.

The system is very useful when producing complex components. It gives designers the benefit of creating the best pieces with reduced cost and viability of production.

For example, 3D Printing materials, metals, are used to produce many parts of aircraft, such as wings, jigs, and engine components. In the aerospace industry, titanium materials are mostly used as a 3D printing material, as it provides excellent mechanical properties and high dimensional precision during processing.

Significant investments in R&D for 3D Printing

Governments around the world have already started investing in R&D on 3D printing, which has had a positive impact on the proliferation and acceptance of technology. For Instance, The Dutch Government has invested an estimated USD 150 million in research and innovation related to 3D printing.

Some of the other significant investments made in the R&D of 3D printing include a funding of $ 380 million from 2013 made by the Singapore Government for the commercialization of 3D Printing via the establishment of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) in 2015.

Also in 2017, Chinese government issued the ‘Additive Manufacturing Industry Development Action Plan’, looking to make a national AM industry worth $3 billion by 2020. The 3D Printing industry is expected to witness a surge in growth due to the supporting policies of the governments

The Australian government, in partnership with 3D printing bureau and reseller, Objective 3D, has announced $ 2 million in funding for a new additive manufacturing (AM) virtual hub.

Inherent Benefits derived from the process of 3D Printing

The benefits that 3D Printing provides such as faster production processes, superior quality products, cost-effectiveness, and increasing demand for high performance materials are expected to drive the growth of the industry over the forecast period.

Therefore, 3D printing reduces the risk of mistakes and is highly preferable for mass production, which is likely to help growth of the market.

Demand for 3D printers to create customizable products

The adoption of 3D printers to visualize and to create extremely customized products will propel the 3D printing market which will raise the demands of 3D Printing materials.

The mass application of 3D printers in medical sector for creating artificial organs such as kidney cells, cardiac tissue, human liver and other human tissues for transplanting is driving the demand of 3D Printing materials.

Furthermore, cancer cells and other disease cells are also printed to examine and research on the growing cause of these diseases to provide better drugs and therapy to the patients.

High Material Cost

3D Printing MaterialAverage Price per KG in US$
PETG filament$16–$19
TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane$87–$110
3D printing resin for DLP and SLA$40–$300 per liter

3D printing is an easier way to produce objects, but is costly because of the high cost of materials, which is a major market constraint. Such high costs are due to the higher purity and composition requirements that are required for 3D printing.

The metal materials for 3D printing cost an average of about US$ 250.0 to US$ 500.0 per kg which is very costly to use in general applications as the final product costs are too high compared to the products available in the market.

However, with the increasing demand in several applications and use, developing and providing low-cost materials is a huge challenge for material manufacturers.

As there are several new market entrants, there is strong competition between manufacturers and suppliers to provide consumers with products at low cost.

Because of new entrants and high investment in R&D activities to produce low-cost products, experts believe that in the near future the cost of the goods will decline. Therefore, with cost reduction, the demand and use of 3D Printing materials will increase exponentially at a growth rate higher than expected.

Significantly high cost of Industrial 3D printers

Manufacturing sector will only accept digital transformation if the price is right. Apart from speed problems, the high cost of 3D printers was one of the biggest obstacles to mass scale digitalization.

High end, accurate 3D printers still cost a lot of money as the price of industrial 3D printers ranges from $5,000 to over a $1,000,000 which is exorbitant when compared to market standards.

Also there is a significantly high cost incurred due to high energy costs as 3D printers cannot yet print multiple objects at the same time. This increases the time taken to 3D print an object commercially. Again, in majority of the regions, where energy is costly, the cost to run a 3D printer is on the higher side. 

Availability of Limited number of Materials

The major restraint limiting the adoption of 3D printing, which has a direct consequence with the growth of the 3D, Printing materials market is the limited number of materials available for 3D printing.

Although the material choices for 3D printing are increasing as the demand is increasing it is comparatively less when compared with the ones available for traditional manufacturing.

Presently, plastic is the most widely used 3D printing material as it is cheap and easy to manage given the lower melting point. Limited material choice makes it difficult to employ the use of 3D printing for a greater number of applications.

If one is printing with different materials, one may have to buy different 3D printers. As every printer support a limited number of materials.

A 3D printing process printing with metal would not print with plastics and vice versa. Moreover, some 3D printers can only print with PLA when it comes to plastics. Some have the provision to print with different plastic materials.

Industry Challenges

Producing Low-cost 3D Printing materials

The high cost of 3D Printing materials has been a major concern linked to its growth in the market. There are a large number oi applications for 3D Printing materials which are found, but due to their high cost they face many restrictions. 

The creation of low cost technology for the manufacture of 3D Printing materials represents a major challenge for all researchers and the major producers. Due to their high cost, 3D Printing materials are used in high-end and luxury cars. Producing low cost 3D Printing materials is a significant challenge affecting the adoption of 3D Printing materials.

Health Hazards of several 3D Printing materials

Recent study by Illinois Institute of Technology research tested few samples and found that 3D printers emit between 200 million and 200 billion tiny toxic particles per minute. Such particles can penetrate into the lungs when inhaled, can cause irritation, and can also enter the brain.

The printers when use materials such as nylon filament that emit Caprolactam can cause severe neurological, stomach and heart conditions. Printers that use ABS filament materials often emit styrene which could cause cancer.

Eco-Unfriendly nature due to emission

3D printers use a variety of materials from thermoplastic filament to powdered metal to concrete. Many materials have hazards associated with them.

Most common 3D printing processes use a thread like plastic filament (called feedstock) that is liquefied via a heating element and which is then jetted through a nozzle. Prolonged exposure to fumes from some materials can be hazardous. Recent studies of 3D printers and thermoplastic feedstock have found hazardous vapors and gases are emitted during the printing process.

The two most popular thermoplastics used, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA (Polylactic Acid), have been found to release ultrafine particles (UFP) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).which are harmful to the environment.

Many printers use plastic filaments to create artifacts that leave items that are harmful to the environment behind plastic in turn. With 3D printing being the fast-growing technology, there is no doubt that it will cause far more harm in the future than is visible today.

Technology Trends

The 3D printing materials market is extensively used across various industrial sectors, some of the emerging technologies in the niche areas include:

The concept of 3D printed houses is currently attracting immense popularity and trending. For such houses the construction time is very low, the processes are still being designed to reduce the construction time and increase the efficiency.

The printer Vulcan can print 600-800 square-foot home in just 24 hours for a price-tag of US$ 4,000 or less which is comparatively less when the homes are built without the use of 3D printers (costing double the amount at US$ 8,000).

In the defense sector, 3D printed materials are used to manufacture weapons using a laser sintering method that illustrates 3D Metal Printing’s precision, accuracy and usability as functional prototypes.

With the modernisation of the artillery and the equipment to be used by the armed forces, these methods have prospered.

The various countries ‘ military is trying to keep its machinery up-to-date for any emergencies. Thus they are continuously modifying the techniques to manufacture.

3D printed materials are used in the medical sector to replicate replacement bones, and transplant tissues. Tissue engineering techniques are being studied to reproduce fully functional 3D printing organs which can prove to be a great advance in the market’s medical and healthcare field.

Nowadays the 3D printed clothes are common in the fashion industry. Technology of 3D printing techniques such as filament manufacturing technique, digital light synthesis, etc. has a major impact on the shoe industry.

The printed shoes give athletes personalized help and allow mass customisation. Designers continue to work with 3D printing, as it allows great designs to be produced with a lot of freedom. 

Big brands form relationships with major additive manufacturing actors and include the 3D printing process in the production of some of their products.

Pricing Trends

The price of 3D Printing materials depends on the factors such as

  • Material (Resin or Filament)
  • Color (non-white Filament tends to be more expensive)
  • Tolerance (tighter tolerances are typically expensive)
  • quantities (Larger quantities tend to be cheaper per Kilogram)

3D printer filaments can vary, with PLA costing less than $10 per kilogram and specialty filaments over $600.

PLA is the most common filament used with FDM 3D printers. It is easy to print and is the least expensive filament option in this list.

  • Average price range for PLA: $15–$20 per kg

ABS is another standard plastic filament that many makers print with. Although ABS requires a heated build plate, it is another inexpensive filament that is useful for models where strength and temperature resistance is important.

  • Average price range for ABS: $15–$20 per kg

PETG filament is a great alternative to ABS where strength, temperature resistance, and ease of use are considered. One might think that PETG would be more expensive given the improved characteristics, however, that is no longer the case.

  • Average price range for PETG: $16–$19 per kg

Nylon is a somewhat flexible, highly chemically resistant material that can be used for 3D printing. Outside of 3D printing, this material is commonly used to make cable ties. It’s useful to model functional parts like gears, nuts, and bolts in 3D printing.

  • Average price range for nylon: $50–$73 per kg

TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, is a flexible filament that can be used to make RC car tires, shoes, and other rubber-like models. TPU is not the only type of flexible filament, and the category generally covers a wide price range.

  • Average price range for TPU, TPE, and soft PLA: $87–$110 per kg

Polycarbonate (PC) is a very strong, optically transparent material that is used for parts that require high strength and durability. Additionally, the material has good electrical insulation properties for specialty projects where this is needed.

  • Average price range for polycarbonate: $30–$93 per kg

ASA is a great 3D printing filament for certain outdoor applications. It’s UV resistant, moisture resistant, and electrically insulating.

  • Average price range for ASA: $30–$50 per kg

Specialty filaments are an entirely different animal altogether. Given the highly diverse number of additives such as wood, glitter, glow-in-the-dark compounds, carbon fiber, stainless steel, magnetic iron powder, and even kilnable metal filament, the average cost for these types of filaments ranges from about $20 per kilogram to well over $600 per kilogram

3D printing resin for DLP and SLA printers can vary quite widely. While resin printers can produce very high resolution prints, one big drawback is the cost of the resin that is used with these devices.

Overall, the price differences in resin are caused by differences in quality of the resin and the printing resolution the resin is compatible with.

  • Average price range for resin: $40–$300 per liter

Regulatory Trends

The emergence of 3D printing at the consumer level has given rise to concerns at a number of levels, including that involving intellectual property for the protection of industrial designs.

Chinese law

Trademark Law

If a 3D printer produces a design for a consumer, and then a trademark that is registered by a third party in the Chinese Trademark Office, for that particular product (or similar product), is applied to that product (either directly or on packaging), then trademark infringement under Article 5 PRC Trademark Law, will occur.

Further, if the mark is not registered, but it is well known in China, this act would be considered a violation of Article 5.

Patent Law

Article 2 of the PRC Patent Law recognizes that 3D designs can be protected under the patent law. There are a variety of important regulatory proposals set out in the new CFDA guidance, such as requiring validation testing for all 3D printing equipment, materials, processes, software, and final products.

It also states that product validations should include anti-pull strength and fatigue tests, usability tests, functionality testing and evaluation, and any components related to these.

The CFDA guidance proposes that clinicians and healthcare professionals should be involved in the decision-making for both the design input and output for 3D printed medical devices, and that environmental parameters for 3D printing must be defined in order to include energy density, gas composition, humidity, pressure, 3D printing speed, temperature, and other related factors.

Additionally, the guidance states that additive manufacturers should be required to conduct cleaning processes for complex 3D printed medical devices themselves, and not outsource them to other companies.

The effectiveness of the chosen cleaning method must also be demonstrated. There is also a section on the use of animal models for testing 3D printed medical implants.

Finally, the CFDA’s new draft guidance says that the use of 3D printed medical implants needs to involve contracts between the manufacturer, the healthcare provider, and the patient.

Regulatory trend in the USA

The FDA guidelines focus on design and manufacturing considerations, as well as device testing concerns.

The FDA has two major classes of 3D printed medical devices. The first group includes products that can be created using any manufacturing processes, including 3D printing.

To get products in this class approved, manufacturers only have to prove that the final medical device product is substantially equivalent to a product that is already on the market.

The second FDA class covers devices that are deemed to be higher risk and must go through a pre-market approval process as there is nothing similar on the market.

Regulatory Framework in EU

The European Union (EU) has largely followed the FDA’s example. Relevant authorities have approved 3D printed medical devices and have published advice for companies and others using 3D printing manufacturing techniques to create medical devices.

The EU’s governance is contained in Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745, where it establishes that quality management systems are central to production, like with other manufacturing techniques.

Other Key Market Trends

Material manufacturers are adopting forward integration through organic and inorganic growth strategies to improve market presence.

Major manufacturers of 3D printing materials have adopted forward integration through organic growth strategies such as expansions, as well as inorganic growth strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, collaborations, and other activities to promote their material grades, subsequently increasing their market presence.

This dynamic can be observed in the case of 3D printing metals and 3D printing plastics — which have been the major material types — and will lead to an increase in the supply of material grades, thus reducing production costs.

Polyamides are expected to dominate the 3D printing plastics market.

Plastics or polymers are the major materials used for 3D printing. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polylactic Acid (PLA), and polyamides are the major polymers that are used in both commercial as well as general applications.

ABS and PLA are extensively used in the Fusible Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology in 3D printing; many patents related to this technology expired in 2008. Polyamides are used in powder form in the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology; a majority of patents related to this technology expired in 2014.

SLS is widely used in commercial practices and is expected to dominate the 3D printing market in terms of technology. Polyamides such as PA11 and PA12 are major polymers that can be used in powdered form.

Major companies manufacturing PA11 and PA12 such as Arkema SA (France) and Evonik AG (Germany) have been largely instrumental in promoting these grades, along with major companies operational in the 3D printing market, including 3D Systems Corporations (U.S.), and EOS GmbH (Germany), among others. These factors are expected to boost the demand of polyamides as major 3D printing plastics in near future. 

Market Size and Forecast

Global 3D Printing Material Market

The Market size of the Global 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be US$ 1.5 Billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25% to reach a market size of US$ 4.5 Billion in 2024.

The total Volume shipped in the Global 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be 5.08 Kiloton in 2019 and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 18.2% to reach a volume of 11.72 Kiloton in 2024.

North America

North America has the largest share of the market of about 35% for 3D Printing materials and the trend is expected to remain the same over the forecast period.

High demand from the aerospace & defense and automotive industries for the metal materials plays a key role in higher consumption of 3D printing material

In addition, the use of 3D printing for medical and dental implants in the healthcare industry is promoting the growth of 3D Printing materials in the area.

USA 3D Printing Market

The US is expected to lead the North American region, generating $603.7 million in revenue in 2024 from a recorded market size of $ 214.43 million in 2019.

Increasing application scope of 3D printing technology on account of rapid technological developments in the U.S. is projected to drive the market growth over the forecast period.

Rising demand for personalized products in the country coupled with favorable government policies have led to high investment by numerous manufacturers in the country.

Canadian 3D Printing Material Market

AM is used across several verticals in Canada with Manufacturing being the leading adopter. 32% of companies have used plastic AM and 45% of companies plan to use plastic additive manufacturing. This represents an average annual growth rate of 45%.

The market size of the Canadian 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be $ 122 Million in 2019 and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 24.2% to reach a market size of $ 360 Million in 2024.

Mexican 3D Printing Material Market

The Mexican 3D Printing Material market is driven by the Mexican automotive and aerospace industries relying on 3D Printing Material technologies for the development of prototypes and products that they use in their assembly lines.  Additionally, it is the source of jigs and fixtures, and toolings and templates.  

In addition to the aforementioned industries, the use of 3D Printing Material technologies is on the rise in the electronics sector.  In Mexico, electronics manufacturers of mobile phones and other electronic devices are printing many parts, tooling and fixtures, as well as certain parts for demonstration and product launches.

The estimated market size of the Mexican 3D Printing Material market is projected to be $ 76 Million and is expected to reach a market size of $ 220.1 Million in 2024 growing at a CAGR of 23.7%

Rest of North America

Rest of North America includes countries such as Cuba, Greenland, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and others. The 3D Printing Material market in the region is driven by the economic growth of North America and is fuelling the growth of this market significantly.

The introduction of new categories 3D printers drives the market growth. The escalating growth of the market has considerably motivated the end-users to adopt desktop/personal 3D printers.

South America

The basic foundations for the 3D printing revolution are laid in Brazil. It is the medical and dental arena that is seeing some of the latest developments in 3D printing all around the world. This is gaining interest in using the technology within orthodontics is becoming predominantly successful in Brazil.

The 3D printing is also used as a means for helping deliver Brazil’s huge population that is mostly poverty-stricken from the sprawling shantytowns littering the vast nation.

Concepts like WikiHouse are basically an open-source construction kit that permits people to create as well as share designs for properties. It is then being used to print the pieces for a couple of thousand dollars helping transform the slums.

Brazilian 3D Printing Material Market

The 3D Printing Material market in Brazil is estimated to cross $ 63 Million 2019 and reach a market size of $ 188.45 Million in 2024 growing at a CAGR of 24.5%.

With growing adoption of 3D printers in various end user industries such as automotive, aerospace & defence, healthcare, consumer electronics, etc. for numerous applications including prototyping, designing, Research & Development (R&D), etc., the 3D Printing Material market in the country is expected to grow at a robust pace over the next five years.

Argentina 3D Printing Material Market

3D Printing Material market in Argentina is an emerging market currently at inflection point and is primarily used in the automotive sector for developing spare parts and in the Medical and Dental segment for creating prosthetics.

The Market Size of the Argentinian 3D Printing Material is projected to be $ 37.8 Million in 2019 and is expected to reach a market size of $ 112.2 Million in 2024 growing at a CAGR of 24.3%

Rest of South America

The Rest of South America includes major economies such as Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Chile. The market is driven by multiple factors such as Government initiatives on R&D of 3D Printing materials and the boom in automotive segment of the economy.


The Europe 3D Printing Material Market was valued at $ 340 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 996.8 million by 2024, at a CAGR of 24% over the forecast period 2019 – 2024. Europe is a major hub for 3D printing technology.

The highest demand in Europe comes from small and medium-sized businesses that are in need of high speed, reliable and low-cost prototypes.

With the ability to deliver customized products and manufactured solutions at a lower cost, 3D printing technology will completely disrupt traditional manufacturing in many industries. Initiatives and spending by government, the ability to offer customized products by 3D printing, increased efficiency, and improved products are leading this technology in Europe.

UK 3D Printing Material Market

Government initiatives toward the growth of Additive Manufacturing are expected to drive the market for 3D Printing Material market in the country. According to the UK 2017-2018 budget proposals, a majority of the government R&D funding will be focused on technology development and support of scientific talent.

The new proposals include the use of GBP 4.7 billion, which is directed towards R&D on various upcoming technologies such as electric vehicles, drug manufacturing technologies, artificial intelligence, and robotics. All these verticals utilize 3D printing technology exhaustively, to increase the efficiency throughout the supply chain, driving the demand for 3D printing technology in the UK.

The market size of the UK 3D Printing Material market is expected to be $ 180 Million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.6% to reach a market size of $ 540.6 Billion in 2024.

German 3D Printing Material Market

The presence of large automobile industry with presence of global players such as Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, Daimler AG, Adam Opel AG and Ford-Werke GmbH is driving the adoption of 3D printing technology as it is extensively used for creating spare parts for cars and trucks.

The market size of the German 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be $ 128 Million in 2019 and is expected to reach a market size of $ 378.3 Million in 2024 growing at a CAGR of 24.2%.

French 3D Printing Material Market

The presence of prominent 3D technology providers such as Dassault Systems is poised to drive the growth of the 3D Printing Material market in France. 

The market size of the French 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be $ 102 Million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.7% to reach a market size of $ 295.4 Million in 2024.

Rest of Europe

Rest of Europe is poised to witness significant growth backed by the growth in the automobile sector due to the increased use of 3D technology in the R&D department of the automotive industry.

This technology is used to design and engineer new vehicle models. For instance, In April 2019, AUDI AG, the automaker implemented polymer 3D printing technology for its production line at the Bölllinger Höfe.


The Asia Pacific 3D Printing Material market is anticipated to reach the market valuation of $ 880 Million by 2024 from the current market value of $ 286 Million in 2019 expanding at considerable CAGR of 25.2% during the forecasted period (2019-2024)..

APAC is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The expiry of 3D printing technology patents of Stratasys (US) and 3D Systems (US) for their fused deposition modelling (FDM) and stereolithography (SLA) technologies, respectively, has opened several opportunities for emerging companies, as new entrants can easily get access to AM technology and make modifications based on their unique requirements.

Chinese 3D Printing Material Market

China is perhaps the biggest force behind 3D Printing Material growth in Asia, in light of the huge government support to promote the industry. China’s 3D Printing Material market was estimated to be worth $ 114.4 million in 2019. Currently, it’s the third-largest 3D Printing Material market, after the US and Western Europe.

 It’s estimated that 48% of current 3D printing revenues in China come from 3D printers, (compared to 37% for Europe or 33% for the United States). This figure indicates that there’s a strong demand for 3D printing hardware in the country. 

ASEAN 3D Printing Material Market

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) refers to a region in South East Asia that includes 10 countries: Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

According to a white paper by ThyssenKrupp, one of the largest industrial groups in Germany,  AM penetration in ASEAN today is small, representing only 5 to 7% of Asia’s total AM spend estimated at $3.8 billion for 2019 valuing it at around 228 Million in 2019. 

Within the ASEAN region, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are the largest adopters of 3D Printing Material, accounting for around 80% of the AM market by value.

Japanese 3D Printing Material Market

The global market share of Japan in the 3D printer market based on the shipment volume at manufacturers accounts for 3.5% totalling a market size of $ 427 Million in 2019. This is likely to decline to 2.0% by 2021.

Currently, the awareness to use 3D printers in Japan is relatively lower than other countries.  However, in recent years, growing number of companies possessing multiple 3D printers in order to create various things have been on the rise in Japan.

In addition, there are demands to replace or upgrade into higher-end printers, as more user companies seemingly eager to use 3D printers after finding out a certain level of advantages in using them.

Rest of Asia

3D Printing Material market in other parts of Asia is driven by the growth in the automotive sector after a dismal performance in the prior years and is also augured well by the Government investments made on the R&D of 3D printing technologies.

Middle-East & Africa

Middle East Africa 3D Printing Material has witnessed notable growth and is poised to spiral to new heights in years to come. Most countries such as UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are willing to seize the opportunities that are inbuilt in 3D Printing Material and hence are gaining leading edge in the technological advancements.

Moreover, the region portrays immense potential to radically transform the way medical devices are utilized to treat the patients. The technique has emerged as one of the cost efficient option for medical device industry and therefore has impacted the health care segment positively.

Surging demand for patient specific products in orthopaedics and maxillofacial surgery coupled with consistent advancements in innovative technologies have exponentially driven the performance of Middle East 3D Printing Material market.

Moreover, increasing production of customized products, lower costs and government investments have accelerated 3D Printing Material market of Middle East region.

Saudi Arabian 3D Printing Material Market

Increasing adoption of robotics in industrial automation coupled with the surging manufacturing sector and increasing need for production efficiency has driven the demand for automated 3D Printing Material market in Saudi Arabia.

With a growing need to increase efficiency by decreasing the cost of production would complement market growth. The market size of the Saudi Arabian 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be $ 54 Million in 2019 and is expected to reach a market size of $ 153.9 Million in 2024 growing at a CAGR of 23.3% in the forecast period (2019 to 2024).

UAE 3D Printing Material Market

UAE 3D Printing Material market is at a niche stage of the industry life cycle; the market posted healthy growth over the last two years. Increasing construction activities especially in Dubai for the preparation of upcoming Dubai 2020 event is one of the key drivers for the rising adoption of 3D printing technology.

In addition, 3D printing strategy introduced by the government, flexible labor market, rising innovative technological adoption as well as availability of skilled workforce would further propel the growth of 3D Printing Material market over the coming years.

The market size of the UAE 3D Printing Material market is estimated to be $ 46 Million in 2019 and is expected to reach a market size of $ 126.9 Million in 2024 growing at a CAGR of 22.5% in the forecast period (2019 to 2024).

Rest of MEA

The increasing investment from Government of the Middle-East region into the infrastructure segment is expected to augur well for the growth of the 3D Printing Material market in the region.

Market Outlook

  • During the forecast period, the 3D Printing materials Market is expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 25% per cent.
  • The category of 3D filament form accounts for the largest market share of 30.8 per cent in 2019.
  • During the forecast period, the ceramic material type is expected to grow at the highest rate of 22.2 percent.
  • During the forecast period, the automotive end-user segment is expected to grow at the highest rate of 22.0 percent.
  • Production and sales of automobiles, along with strong demand for 3D printing in the automotive industry, especially for personal vehicles, will soon drive the overall market.
  • Metal powder producers and suppliers spend on capacity developments to meet their end-users ‘ increasing demand.
  • Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region and is predicted to experience 22.1 percent of the highest CAGR over the forecast period.
  • The market for 3D Printing materials is expected to be experiencing rising demand from India, China and other Asia Pacific countries. Rising consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, and other businesses across the region’s countries would make it easier for the market to attain momentum over the forecast period.
  • The market in this area is expected to experience an increase in polymer demand due to the rising demand for desktop printers.

Technology Roadmap

An increased focus on high-performance thermoplastics

While relatively simple plastics, such as PLA and ABS, dominate the polymer market, strong, functional materials that can withstand harsh environments and high temperatures are increasingly demanded.

Responding to this trend, the 3D printing industry is developing high-performance thermoplastics such as carbon-reinforced composites, ULTEM, PEEK and PEKK.

These materials enable manufacturers to print usable prototypes in 3D printing and even end-use parts for a range of industries. Chemical companies are rapidly producing these advanced materials around the industry, primarily for use in AM, including, to name just a few, Victrex, SABIC, Solvay and Evonik. 

Many manufacturers of 3D printer hardware often work closely with these companies to adapt the 3D printing hardware needed for these materials. For instance, Roboze, an Italian manufacturer of 3D extrusion printers, has collaborated with SABIC on an amorphous polyimide thermoplastic filament, called EXTEM AMHH811F.

Thanks to a heat deflection power of up to 230 ° C, the new material boasts great resistance to high temperature. The material also has a transition in glass of 247 ° C. It also provides excellent flame retardant properties, good chemical resistance and retains high temperature mechanical strength.

High-performance thermoplastics development is crucial to AM industrialisation. We facilitate the technology’s transition from prototyping to mature applications in vital industries such as medical and aerospace.

Polymers with flame-retardant properties 

Within the industry there is a significant drive toward products with different properties, one of which is flame retardance. This trend is likely motivated by the demand from industries with stringent fire protection criteria, such as transportation and electronics, which are beginning to make greater use of 3D printing.

DSM’s UL Blue Card certified flame retardant material, Novamid AM1030 FR, for 3D printers for extrusion, is among recent innovations.

The material was developed using Novamid technology from DSM, and is classified as V0 (burning stops on a vertical specimen within 10 seconds) and V2 (burning stops on a vertical specimen within 30 seconds).

Distribution Chain Analysis

The 3D printing value-chain is diverse. In the plastics printing market, larger, integrated players cover the entire value chain from supplying materials to manufacturing printers to providing printing services.

While in the metal printing market, relatively small players focus more on certain parts of the value chain, such as in printing equipment or in printing services.

The main advantage of 3-D printing is that it has a shorter value chain, cost and time reductions through the elimination of assembly steps, greater customization and design freedom, and minimal waste.

Materials Suppliers

Many large, established chemical and metal powder companies are already supplying the AM industry. Materials for 3D printing include ceramics, Aluminium, titanium, refracted metal, etc.

The list of viable AM materials is growing, but many polymers and metal alloys are not yet available or not fully developed for AM.

To succeed, materials providers must create an end-to-end supply chain solution for their materials that includes ensuring full traceability back to the source and offering to recycle used materials.

Raw Material Suppliers

Europe and American big players have dominated the AM raw-materials industry, but the Asian companies are continuously emerging. Both established AM raw-materials and new entrants are continually improving their systems and developing new technologies that will accelerate the evolution of industrialized AM.

End Users

Across various industries from footwear to aerospace, the users of 3D printing materials are referred to as AM end users who are extending the scope of AM processes beyond R&D.

Competitive Landscape

The 3D Printing materials & equipment market is highly consolidated with the top companies accounting for more than 50% of the global share in 2019. To increase market presence, material manufacturers are embracing forward integration through organic and inorganic growth plans.

Polyamides such as PA11 and PA12 are essential polymers which can be used in powdered form. Major PA11 and PA12 companies such as Arkema SA and Evonik AG have been mainly successful in developing these grades, along with major 3D printing firms, including 3D Systems Corporations, and EOS GmbH, among others.

Open materials model promotes the main material producers to associate with the manufacturers of 3D printers and to produce innovative materials for their systems.  One of the open materials model’s major success stories is the Ultimaker’s Material Alliance Program which was launched in April 2018.

The software involves material manufacturers exchanging print parameters for their materials in a shared database which Ultimaker customers can access. The concept behind this is to make it simpler for consumers to safely use third party filaments on Ultimaker 3D printers.

Competitive Factors

The 3D Printing materials and equipment manufacturers are consistently working to develop high quality products with reasonable costs to gain a competitive advantage and increase their market share.

One of the key trend of the 3D Printing materials market is business expansion. Several companies are building R&D as well as material production machines, serving to further the industrialization of the technology. 

  • For example, in May 2019, a US-based material producer, Amastan Technologies, announced the acquisition of a producer of refined titanium materials, AL Solutions.
  • In April 2019, French high-resolution 3D microprinter manufacturer Microlight3D acquired Smart Force Technologies (SFT), a micro-scale 2D printing company, opening up new microfluidic 3D printing capabilities.

Key Market Players

3D Systems Corporation (USA) is a global provider of 3D printing-centric solutions, including 3D printers, cloud sourced custom parts, and print materials. Its product portfolio includes desktop 3D printers and advanced 3D production systems which used in rapid prototyping or direct digital manufacturing.

The company has an extensive range of materials, namely, metals, plastics, ceramics, and edibles. 3D Systems serves customers in a number of industries, including the automotive, education, aerospace, healthcare, and consumer markets.

Its healthcare solutions include training & planning, simulation, printing of surgical instruments, printing for patient-specific medical & dental devices, and personalized surgery.

Arkema SA (France) manufactures and markets a wide range of chemicals. The Company manufactures both industrial chemicals and performance products including acrylics, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), hydrogen peroxide, technical polymers, specialty chemicals, and functional additives.

The ExOne Company (USA) operates as a global provider of three-dimensional printing machines and printed products to industrial customers. The Company focuses on manufacturing and selling 3D printing machines and printing products to specification for our customers using our in-house 3D printing machines.

Stratasys Ltd. (USA) offers a wide range of systems, consumables, and services for additive manufacturing. Its product portfolio comprises five series of additive manufacturing systems and consumables—idea series, design series, production series, dental series, and MakerBot desktop series.

The company’s products are used in a wide range of industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, aerospace, dental, defense, education, commercial products, architecture, and medical.

EOS GMBH (Germany) primarily offers a broad range of 3D systems and equipment along with a number of materials used in the 3D printing process. The company¡¦s Medical Devices segment offers surgical instruments and medical products specifically for patient care in dentistry, orthopedics, and implantology.

EOS focuses on rapid prototyping and series production, which provides the customer complete support for the entire development and production process. The company has focused its efforts on product innovation with the aim to cater to the increasing demand of 3D printing across the globe.

Materialise NV (Belgium) is a provider of AM software solutions and complex 3D plastic printing services for industries such as healthcare, industrial manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, art and architecture, and consumer goods.

The Manufacturing business segment of the company provides 3D printing services for the designing of models, rapid prototyping services, and customized printing services for the parts required for industrial and commercial customers.

Sandvik AB (Sweden) is a high-technology engineering group. The Company develops, manufactures, and markets tools for metalworking applications, machinery and tools for rock excavation, stainless steel products, special alloys, and resistance heating materials and process systems. Sandvik markets to industrial companies throughout the world, and tools can also be purchased online.

Hoganas AB (Sweden) develops, manufactures and markets iron and non-ferrous metal powders and alloys, as well as highly-refined powders and customer-specific mixes.

The Company sells its products to the automotive industry and to companies active in the welding, chemical and metallurgical industries. Hoganas produces in Sweden, Belgium, India, Japan and China and sells its products worldwide.

Strategic Conclusion

Materials play a critical role in turning AM into a true technology for growth. According to a recent survey conducted by Jabil, 41 percent of AM users surveyed agree that adopting better materials will have the greatest effect on promoting mass adoption for production of 3D prints.

And the industry is reacting aggressively to that demand. Specialized metals and advanced polymers are being developed. Product manufacturers already understand even more about how to classify, refine, fabricate and recycle AM products.

At the same time more players are seen branching into new areas of material production, whether it be composites, silicones or ceramics. High material costs remain one of the key bottlenecks to scaling the technology applications.

Ultimately, the 3D Printing materials industry seems to be flourishing, driven by both large companies and niche SMEs.




  • SMEs – Small & Medium Enterprises
  • OEMs – Original Equipment Manufacturers
  • R&D – Research & Development
  • NAMIC – National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster
  • PLA – polyLactic Acid
  • ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • TPU – Thermoplastic PolyUrethane
  • PC – Polycarbonate
  • ASA – Acrylic Styrene Acrylonitrile

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