Asia-Pacific spending on 3D printing to touch $3.6 bn by 2021: IDC
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Expenditure on 3D printing is expected to reach $3.6 billion by 2021 in the Asia-Pacific region (APEJ) with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.4%, a new report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) showed.

According to the report, APEJ is one of the three largest regions along with the United States and Western Europe to deliver 18% of the total 3D printing spending worldwide throughout the five-year period. It also showed that 3D printing-related services—consulting, systems integration, and on-demand parts manufacturing services—and material expenditure combined will account for nearly 45% of the total spending in the region for the designated period. Software purchases will trail behind in the overall market with a five-year CAGR of 26.9%.

“China is the force behind APEJ growth. The Chinese government is in support of the industry and multiple 3D printing action plans and fiscal support are in place. As a result, the use and spending of 3D printing have got a boost in the country with continuous interest and rising maturity,” said Mun Chun Lim, market analyst for IDC Asia-Pacific’s imaging, printing and document solutions research.

The report states that discrete manufacturing continues to dominate the 3D printing industry in the region with spending expected to reach $1.1 billion in 2018 and $1.7 billion in 2021.

Discrete manufacturing is the production of distinct items and includes products such as automobiles, furniture, toys, smartphones, and aviation. Leading use cases for 3D printing in discrete manufacturing include prototypes, molds and aftermarket parts. These three use cases will account for 68% of total spending across the discrete manufacturing industry in 2018, the report stated.

The education and healthcare industries will trail the discrete manufacturing industry and will account for 37% of overall spending in the region by 2021.

“Manufacturers in APEJ have started to evaluate and implement additive manufacturing. Coupled with government push in advanced manufacturing, the discrete manufacturing industry will continue to dominate the majority of the spending in the region," Lim said.

In education, the primary use cases lie in learning or research activities, while in healthcare, printing of dental objects, surgical models, and medical support objects dominate. These use cases are expected to combine and deliver $427 million in 2021, an increase of 140% over 2017, the report said.

The industries that will see the fastest growth in 3D printing expenditure over the five-year forecast are telecommunications (50.2% CAGR) and resource industries (44.0% CAGR).

“As we are gearing towards industry 4.0 era, 3D printing is poised to transform the manufacturing process and how things are made. The advent of 3D printing opens up endless possibilities and unleashing a disruptive power in the global supply chain,” Lim said.

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