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Year-on-year drop for 3D printers

July 26, 2018

Shipments of Personal/Desktop 3D printers suffered a year-on-year drop for the first time in Q1 of 2018, with a fall of 3 percent, according to new data released by CONTEXT.

However, in the Industrial/Professional segment – which accounts for 81 percent of all global printer revenues – Q1 represented the third consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth, with shipments rising 14 percent.

Despite this, the Professional segment alone recorded a dip of 21 percent year-on-year, after 112 percent growth in 2017 – pointing to the importance of the Industrial segment for global sales. CONTEXT adds that despite it gaining traction in 2017, “many 3D printing stalwarts have largely abandoned this Professional class.”

CONTEXT suggests that the fall in demand in the Personal/Desktop category is due to fewer innovations to sustain interest and demand.

“The market is still very much driven by the Industrial class which accounted for 69 percent of global printer revenues in Q1 2018”, the company continues, explaining that “printers in this class are most poised for market disruption in that they are able to move the market from its prototyping roots to one also focused on serial production.”

Shipments in the Industrial class alone rose 20 percent compared to the previous year. Particularly “impressive growth” was observed from companies such as HP, Carbon, and 3D Systems.

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