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Top use case based on 5 year CGAR. (Source: IDE)
Top use case based on 5 year CGAR. (Source: IDE)
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The global spending on 3D printing (including hardware, materials, software, and services) will be nearly US$12.0 billion in 2018, an increase of 19.9% over 2017, according to the new update to the Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC).

By 2021, IDC expects worldwide spending to be nearly US$20.0 billion with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5%.

Together, 3D printers and materials will account for roughly two thirds of the worldwide spending total throughout the forecast, reaching $6.9 billion and $6.7 billion respectively in 2021.

Services spending will trail slightly behind, reaching $5.5 billion in 2021 and led by on-demand parts services and systems integration services. Purchases of 3DP software will grow more slowly than the overall market with a five-year CAGR of 18.6%.

As said, discrete manufacturing will be the dominant industry for 3D printing, delivering more than half of all worldwide spending throughout the 2017-2021 forecast. Healthcare providers will be the second largest industry with a spending total of nearly US$1.3 billion in 2018.

"Parts for new products, aftermarket parts, dental objects, and medical support objects will continue to see significant growth opportunities over the next five years as 3D printing goes more mainstream. The healthcare industry is also poised to double its share of spend through 2021 as the benefits of cost-effective customized printing continue to be realized," said Marianne D'Aquila, research manager, Customer Insights and Analysis at IDC.

According to the report, the US will be the region with the largest spending total in 2018 (US$4.1 billion) followed by Western Europe (US$3.5 billion). Together, these two regions will provide nearly two thirds of all 3D printing spending throughout the forecast.

China will be the third largest region with more than US$1.5 billion in spending this year, followed by Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and the rest of Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan). 

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