A new report has found that the global additive manufacturing market will grow to $3.5 billion by 2017. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 13.5% between 2012 and 2017, according to Markets and Markets, a market research company.
Additive manufacturing is sometimes used interchangeably with 3D printing, but additive manufacturing is defined as the “process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer," according to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
The largest segment in additive manufacturing market is the automotives sector, but the medical market is also a big market. Here's more from a summary of the report about the medical segment:
Traditionally additive manufacturing in the medical field was considered as a technique for the production of prototypes or model. However, with the development of more biocompatible materials and advanced technologies, the market has started showing a preference for additive manufacturing of 3D products.
One of the biggest advantages of additive manufacturing compared with traditional manufacturing is the economic gains it brings due to greater efficiency - a large number of products can be made at very low costs.
Europe accounted for the largest market share of the global additive manufacturing for medical devices market in 2012, followed by North America. The report estimates that in the future the share of the European region will decrease. That can be attributed to the fall of device prices, regulatory pressures, and increasing focus of players towards emerging markets in the Asian and Latin American regions.
In the medical industry, additive manufacturing is used ito make surgical equipments prosthetics & implants, as well as scaffolds. Growth of additive manufacturing in this market is coming from the rising incidence of surgeries, coupled with increasing awareness and advances in technology. Surgical equipment account for the largest share in this market due to their wide applicability, the report found.
It also listed some of the key players in the additive manufacturing market - 3D Systems Corp. (U.S.), 3T RPD (U.K.), Arcam AB (Sweden), Biomedical Modeling Inc. (U.S.), Envisiontec GmbH (Germany), EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems (Germany), Fcubic AB (Sweden), GPI Prototype and Manufacturing Services Inc. (U.S.), Greatbatch Inc. (U.S.), Layerwise NV (Belgium), Limacorporate SPA (Italy), Materialise NV (Belgium), Medical Modeling Inc. (U.S.), and others.