The report warned however that this may mean bad news for large-scale systems and physical object manufacturing. Moreover, the initial cost of establishing a rapid prototyping service is expected to be high, taking into account the steep initial investments and relatively modest production volumes.

Along with well-established application sectors such as the automobile and aerospace segments, consumer goods manufacturing and healthcare applications offer immense scope for the technology, the report says.

Taking shape

'3D printing brings several performance and efficiency advantages to the table that translate into high quality; far greater than what can be achieved through conventional manufacturing,' said technical insights research analyst Jithendranath Rabindranath. 'Therefore, organisations are embracing various approaches to expand the applicability of 3D printing, accelerating uptake especially in Asia and North America.'

'With burgeoning market potential and growing funding, the 3D printing ecosystem is taking shape,' said Rabindranath. 'The contribution of multiple industry participants such as confederations, research labs, universities, start-ups, and established firms will further quicken the development and commercialisation of 3D printing technology, products, and services on a global scale.'

“3D Printing Technology – 9 Dimensional Assessment”, is published by Frost & Sullivan.