Investor’s Business Daily (www.investors.com) has an interesting article on the 3D printing industry. The three main US companies had a good day in yesterday’s trading session with 3D Systems up 4%, Stratasys up 7% and ExOne up 4%. Swedish Arcam, on the other side, saw its’ share decline by 6% on no news. Arcam received another important order for four systems two days ago from a customer within the aerospace industry. Arcam’s business is focused on the medical (implants) and aerospace industries. Arcam’s share should see a pop following yet another evidence of its great prospects.
Here is the article:
“The 3D printing market could soar to $8.4 billion in sales in 2025, from $777 million last year, fueled largely by the automotive, aerospace and medical markets, according a new report by Lux Research.
The auto, aerospace and medical industries are seen taking an 84% share of the 3D printing market, which is poised to grow at 18% annually, Lux says.
The report is validation for companies like 3D Systems (DDD), Stratasys (SSYS) and ExOne (XONE), which have seen their fortunes climb in recent years on the potential for the industry.
3D printing is the automated creation of a 3D object, which is built layer by layer with plastics, metals or other materials, from a computer design. The printers have been popular for rapid prototyping of product designs, but are moving into the creation more end-market products.
Lux Research predicts that the amount of 3D printable material sold will increase at the same 18% growth rate as the overall market, going from 880 tons in 2012 to 9,700 tons in 2025. But the cost of those materials will grow at a lower, 11% rate as new suppliers drastically reduce the current markup on materials. Lux sees the value of 3D printable material sold rising from $142 million in 2012 to $579 million in 2025.
Small volume production of high-value parts, such as aerospace engine and automotive components will “zoom,” Lux says. This manufacturing niche will see sales rise from $1 million in 2012 to $1.1 billion in 2025.
Sensing an opportunity, in November, General Electric’s (GE) GE Aviation division purchased the assets of Morris Technologies and sister company, Rapid Quality Manufacturing. The two private companies specialize in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, of rapid prototypes and end-use production components.
Similarly, the market for medical products produced by 3D printers also is in its infancy, says Anthony Vicari, a research associate at Lux. That market was worth $11 million in 2012 and is projected to reach $1.9 billion in 2025. Leading companies in the medical 3D printing space include Arcam, which makes orthopedic implants, and Oxford Performance Materials, which makes cranial and other implants using printers from Eos, Vicari says.
Meanwhile, consumer applications will remain small relative to industrial uses, he says. 3D-printed consumer goods were a $17 million market in 2012, led by $10 million from custom jewelry. The consumer market, dominated by hobbyists and artists, will grow to $894 million in sales in 2025, Vicari says.”
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