The global automated 3D printing market had a revenue holding of USD 707 million in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 11,622 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 41.9% during the forecast period (2022–2030). 3D printing, often referred to as additive manufacturing, is a process by which a computer-generated design is used to construct a three-dimensional object layer by layer. A 3D item is produced by the additive method of 3D printing, which involves building up layers of material. A rising number of industries have adopted 3D printing over the past few years. As adoption rates rise, its focus among industrial and non-printer manufacturers has changed from prototyping and small batches to mass production. Additionally, the number of opportunities in the emerging lights-out factories is being driven by hardware evolving beyond standalone systems used for prototyping, tooling, and single-part production to be employed as core systems within integrated digital mass production lines. The additive manufacturing sector sees artificial intelligence and machine learning technology used in various applications.
The market for automated 3D printing is expected to grow during the forecast period due to technological developments in additive manufacturing and industrial automation trends. It is also anticipated that increased industry focus on manufacturing efficiency and cost will accelerate market expansion. However, during the expected time, the high installation costs of automation equipment may harm the development of the automated 3D printing industry. On the other hand, the quick adoption of 3D printing for mass production is anticipated to open up significant growth prospects for the major market participants in automated 3D printing over the next few years.
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Improved Investments in Research & Development Activities
The applications of 3D printing go beyond creating working prototypes and idea models. The companies' initiatives in research & development activities are intended for usage as core applications by various end users. Some of the biggest businesses in the world have recently revealed significant partnerships and investments in additive manufacturing. The research & development operations of new commercially viable materials and technologies may advance due to these recent announcements, which may also increase the range of uses for additive manufacturing. By fast transitioning from design to part manufacturing in the automotive industry, additive manufacturing continues to advance with sensors, sophisticated motion controls, and logic. For instance, using BCN3D, a Spanish provider of 3D printing solutions, the automotive manufacturer Nissan introduced 3D printing into its production process at the Nissan Barcelona factory.
Similar changes have occurred in the aerospace and defense industries. According to the organization, Cummins Inc. revealed in 2021 that it is nearing completion on its first production item employing a new, highly accurate 3D metal printing technology called binder jet. This marks a critical turning point for the company's journey toward additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0. Many businesses aim to produce less expensive homes, and 3D printing has found numerous applications with cement for the building and construction industry. Additionally, 3D printing is receiving attention in countries like India as a potential solution to the housing crisis and startup costs. These developments, occurring in numerous categories, will help the industry.
Many of today's industrial 3D printers are still slower and less effective than older mechanized equipment. Adoption in industries that rely on mass production, like the automobile and consumer products industries, is mainly hampered by this. Things must be produced and supplied quickly to preserve production efficiency across diverse sectors. Using an automated 3D printer to produce some large-scale parts does present some difficulties that businesses must overcome, such as the price of the machinery, the materials accessible for a given industry, the need for post-processing, manufacturing costs, a lack of expertise, software development and capabilities, and recyclability.
Technological Advancements in the Domain
The cost of 3D printing has substantially decreased due to recent technological advancements, making it more affordable for individuals. As a result, the technology is now in use by various end users, including shoe manufacturing and medical applications. The future of additive manufacturing looks bright, sometimes known as 3D printing. The options for using the technology have risen due to the significant quantity of scientific study, the establishment of specialized businesses, the growth of techniques, and the development of new materials. With the potential for continued growth, this technology has become the favored manufacturing option across several industries.
Future changes in the technical environment of various businesses, like the transition toward industry 4.0, will encourage additional investments in creating creative 3D printing solutions. As software businesses build integrated design solutions, the design software for additive manufacturing is anticipated to become more user-friendly and integrated. Additionally, 3D printing will become more effective and productive due to the increased usage of cutting-edge technologies like AI, IoT, and AR/VR. These technologies will significantly aid the automation of 3D printers, particularly for industrial applications.
The global automated 3D printing market is classified based on offering, process, end-user, and region.
Offering-wise, the global automated 3D printing market includes Hardware, Software, and Services.
The Hardware section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 39.6% and hold the largest market share over the forecast period. The 3D printing hardware market is developing quickly, with automated 3D printers becoming quicker, more productive, and more efficient. With the advent of each new technology, the market for additive manufacturing has increased its capacity to develop into new applications, end-users, and industries. Technologies-wise, compact metal machines and binder jetting technology, which are less expensive than powder bed fusion (PBF) systems, are helping metal 3D printing gain popularity.
The Software section will hold the second-largest market share. In automated 3D printing, the software segment is more compact than the hardware segment. Moreover, it has been progressively expanding in recent years due to the need to resolve several issues with the 3D printing process. The industry is growing because 3D printing software solutions make it possible to build complex designs more quickly and raise print success rates. Furthermore, it is now possible to guarantee part quality and manage processes more effectively by developing a new generation of software solutions. 3D printing software makes printing 3D objects created in 3D modeling software simpler by converting the model into data that a 3D printer can understand.
Process-wise, the global automated 3D printing market includes Automated Production, Material Handling, Part Handling, Post-processing, and Multiprocessing.
The Automated Production section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 39.6% and hold the largest market share over the forecast period. In recent years, 3D printing has grown beyond prototyping and small-batch production to a technique for mass-customizable manufacture. To integrate their devices into end-to-end workflows, all significant industrial and non-industrial 3D printer firms are currently making this effort. Although additive manufacturing is still a crucial component of digital manufacturing, there are many other benefits to automating the entire production.
Rapidly growing digitalization and greater use of cutting-edge technologies, like Industry 4.0, Smart Factories, Robotics, and machine learning, drive demand for online 3D printing for simulation. These innovations increase the possibility that this technology will be adopted more widely and used more frequently across a range of industries, including, among others, the aerospace, automotive, and healthcare sectors.
The Material Handling section will hold the second-largest market share. Automated material handling systems provide increased productivity, cost savings, flexibility, and efficient conveyance. To appease the particular requirements of its clients, EOS, for instance, provides three product solutions with varying levels of automation that are appropriate for small, medium, and large volumes of material. Additionally, they can produce reliable parts and are interoperable with all EOS systems for plastic additive manufacturing. They can also be incorporated into the manufacturing environment. Parallel material management and construction reduce the time needed to set up between build orders and increase overall productivity.
End-user-wise, the global automated 3D printing market includes Industrial Manufacturing, Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, Consumer Products, Healthcare, Energy, and Others.
The Industrial Manufacturing section will advance at a CAGR of 39.8% and hold the largest market share over the forecast period. 3D printing is becoming a more popular production technique. Additionally, over the past few years, there has been a substantial increase in international standards for environmental management systems, particularly the ISO 50001 standard. Additionally, this is compelling manufacturers to invest in energy-saving technologies, creating room for expanding the market under study. Quality control in additive manufacturing, also referred to as 3D printing, continues to be a significant challenge. Defect detection throughout the printing process will reduce material and time loss.
The Automotive section will hold the second-largest market share. As the primary form of transportation in modern society, automobiles play a crucial role in human existence. Globally, there are currently more than 1.3 billion motor vehicles on the road, and by 2035, that number is anticipated to increase to 1.8 billion. Passenger automobiles make up about 74% of these figures, while the remaining 26% are light commercial vehicles, large trucks, buses, coaches, and minibusses. Molds, thermoforming tools, and quick fabrication of grips, jigs, and fixtures can all be produced with 3D printing. As a result, automakers can build tools and samples at minimal costs and prevent production losses in the future from high-cost tooling investments.
North America Dominates the Rest of the World
Region-wise, the global automated 3D printing market comprises North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
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North America will command the highest market share, expanding at a CAGR of 40.2% over the forecast period. The US holds a sizable percentage of the automated 3D printing market in this region. The abundance of small and large sellers in the nation is to blame for the increased demand. For instance, Carlsbad, California-based Forecast 3D, provides 3D printing services for various materials to the healthcare, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and design industries.
Due to the rapid development of potent AI applications, closed-loop control systems have long been a primary objective for engineers working in additive manufacturing. For instance, scientists at GE's Niskayuna Additive Research Lab in New York developed a unique machine-learning platform that employs high-resolution cameras to monitor the printing process layer by layer and identify issues ordinarily invisible to the naked eye streaks, pits, and holes. Additionally, several vendors are enlarging their facilities in the region, especially to meet the supply chain challenges and the rising demand in different end-user verticals.
Europe is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 43.4%, holding USD 3,451 million by 2030. Numerous research projects are taking place throughout Europe, and the region's need is fueled by the rapid expansion of the manufacturing and automotive industries. Among others, the UK and Germany have a chance to increase their market share significantly throughout the projection period. For instance, a 3D printer with a heated chamber was developed in July 2021 by Roboze, a company that specializes in industrial 3D printing, to produce large-scale things made of composites and super polymers for industrial usage. A variety of investments are taking place in the area. For instance, a UK-based robotics business called Q5D Technology obtained USD 2.5 million in early funding in February 2022 to assist in the creation of a new multipurpose wire and electronics 3D printer.