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3D printer shipments continue ascendancy

April 25, 2018

A new report on the 3D printer market from CONTEXT has shown a rise in the Industrial sector, but less comforting news on the Personal segment.

According to the report, more than 132,000 units were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 14 percent from the same period the year before. Much of this spike can be attributed to shipments of Industrial 3D printers, which rose by 39 percent – something CONTEXT attributes “to newcomers in the polymer segment, including HP and Carbon.” It also is explained by “the continued strength” of metals 3D printer shipments.

However, there was less positivity in the Personal 3D printers segment, which “began to show some signs of weakness,” with an increase of “only” 10 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Yet there were many more reasons to be cheerful in the Professional class, where shipments rose stratospherically by 97 percent, and the Design segment, which saw a year-on-year increase of 13 percent – which CONTEXT states “demonstrates the upward momentum of the entire industry.”

The Industrial segment is perhaps the most important in analytical terms, as it still contributes over 70 percent of global 3D printer revenue. It is also, according to CONTEXT, “the one leading the push of additive manufacturing into the $12 trillion (€9.8 trillion) mainstream manufacturing market.”

Chris Connery, Vice President of Global Analysis at CONTEXT, said: “Printer revenues in this important Industrial segment were up 44 percent on a year ago. The Industrial segment saw good growth both in polymer 3D printer shipments – up 31 percent year-on-year – and metals 3D printer shipments, which were up a phenomenal 62 percent for the quarter.”


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