According to the report, the development of new materials for 3D printing is hindered by the practice of lock-in by some 3D printer manufacturers. Barriers to entry for 3rd party materials suppliers are high, and those who do enter the market are unable to get the economies of scale required to accelerate both materials development and progress towards a competitive market.

In the short to mid-term, downwards pressure on materials prices will be driven mainly by new entrants to the 3D printer manufacture arena that do not engage in lock-in practices and enable customers to source materials from the supplier of their choice, and also by pressure from large end-users wielding buying power to force prices down.

Highest growth will be seen in the market for metal powders, although production, currently placed at less than 30 tons/year, will remain relatively low. This, in combination with high raw material and processing prices, will mean that prices for these materials will fall more slowly than for alternative 3D printing materials.

A report called 3D Printing Markets: Hope, Hype and Strategies has also been published.

This report pinpoints where the real opportunities will be found in the emerging 3D printing sector. The report also contains profiles of leading firms to watch in the 3D printing space, and where there may be gaps in the market that could be filled by start-ups. It also covers howestablished “rust belt” manufacturers are likely to react to the rise of 3D printing. 

Finall, a new report covers 3D printing in the medical applications market. This report includes an estimation of the global market for applications of 3D printing in the healthcare segment in terms of value for the period 2013-2019, considering 2012 as the base year.