According to the firm, worldwide shipments of 3D printers rose 25 percent through the first three quarters of 2016 “thanks again to shipments of low-priced personal/desktop 3D printers.” Of the total 217,073 3D printers shipped year-to-date, 96 percent of these were personal/desktop printers, carrying an average price of just under $1,000. This represents 27 percent year-over-year growth for this sub-category compared to a decline in shipments of -12 percent in the industrial/professional segment, which saw only 7,726 units shipped through the first three quarters of 2016. While the market is still largely defined by the shipment of industrial/professional 3D printers – which accounted for 78 percent of the global revenues – CONTEXT says the market is clearly settling into two distinctive segments.
In the desktop/personal 3D-printer segment, Taiwan’s XYZprinting remained the global leader so far in 2016, seeing its share grow to 22 percent through the first three quarters. This side of the market saw the exit by the number-three global overall player 3D Systems and the continued re-positioning of the number-one global 3D Printer market Stratasys of its MakerBot line away from the lowest end. The market did not see the entrance of Mattel into the market as anticipated, nor did it see other IT/CE household brands enter in 2016 with the exception of Polaroid. It did however again see successful crowd-sourced efforts and new brands such as Monoprice and Wanhao emerge on the global scene.
“While Stratasys and 3D Systems continued to shift away from the mainstream personal/desktop 3D printer market, other brands – especially XYZprinting, filled the void,” noted Chris Connery, vice president for Global Analysis at CONTEXT. “Demand continues to be seen for these devices across the globe as evidenced by rising shipments, the emergence of new brands and large crowd-sourced start-ups continuing to come on the scene.”
Figure 1: Top 5 Vendor 3D Printer Market Share by Unit Volumes and Printer Revenues, Global Desktop/Personal Printers, YTD 2016 (Q1-Q3)
Q1-Q3'16 YTD YTD
YTD YTD 2016 Global
2016 Global Rank Q1-Q3'16 Share
Rank Q1-Q3'16 Share Unit Printer Unit
Units Company Units Units Revenue Company Revenue Revenues
1 XYZprinting 46,300 22% 1 Ultimaker $33.2M 14%
2 Ultimaker 17,999 9% 2 Stratasys/MakerBot $31.4M 13%
3 M3D 15,060 7% 3 XYZprinting $22.5M 9%
4 FlashForge 13,462 6% 4 Formlabs $22.3M 9%
5 Monoprice 13,023 6% 5 3D Systems $14.5M 6%
The industrial/professional segment was marked by the official entrance of HP Inc. into the space, but HP 3D printers did not begin shipping until the end of the year. CONTEXT says that their long-anticipated entrance actually contributed to a slowdown in the market, as many customers held off fully committing to additive manufacturing technology until more was known about the impact of HP’s technology to the market.
While the industrial/professional 3D-printer segment has, “in general cooled off in the past few years,” the firm says that the shipment of additive-manufacturing devices capable of printing in metal materials was one major bright spot within this category. This metal 3D-printer sub-segment was not immune to market changes in recent quarters either, however, with a slow-down seen in this sub-segment as well in the second half as General Electric acquired two of the top-five metal-making 3D-printer companies (Arcam and Concept Laser). As seen on the plastics 3D-printer side with the “HP effect,” end-markets for metal 3D Printers likewise put their purchases on hold until the new GE Additive company is fully formed and the market has “fully shaken out.”
Stratasys again enjoyed the top market share position with a 35 percent share in industrial/professional 3D printer revenues for the third quarter, followed by privately held EOS with a 19 percent share.
Figure 3: Top 5 Vendor 3D Printer Market by Revenue from Machines Shipped, Global Industrial/Professional 3D Printers, YTD 2016 (Q1-Q3)
Revenues from Machines Q1-Q3'16 YTD
YTD 2016 Rank Company Sold ($M) Global Share
1 Stratasys $ 305M 35%
2 EOS $ 163M 19%
3 3D Systems $ 86M 10%
4 SLM Solutions $ 49M 6%
5 Concept Laser $ 44M 5%
CONTEXT’s projections for full-year 2016 remain “reserved” for the industrial/professional 3D-printer market and “bullish” for the desktop/personal 3D-printer market, which is largely in-line with trends seen through the first three quarters of 2016. CONTEXT’s forecasts turn more positive in the industrial/professional sector in 2017 and beyond, as HP and General Electrics’ entrances results in a return of growth; the desktop/personal 3D-printer market is expected to continue “its unfettered growth.”
“Beyond just printer shipments” noted Connery, “the total 3D-printing market, consisting of printers, materials, and services, is projected to rise from under $5 billion in 2016 to $16 billion by 2020 mostly dependent on the industry’s ability to move beyond prototyping and into finished good production not just with metals but with plastics as well.”