The additive manufacturing (AM) market grew by 21% in 2020 to a total of US$12.6 billion, according to a new report by 3D Hubs.

According to the company, an online manufacturing platform owned by Protolabs, 3D printing is expected to continue to grow by 17% annually over the next three years.

3D Hubs’ Additive Manufacturing Trend Report 2021 also found that 65% of engineering businesses increasing their 3D printing usage in 2020 compared to the previous year. It anticipates this growth to continue into 2021, with the majority of engineering businesses (73%) predicting an increase in their 3D printing usage this year.

Other report findings include:

  • The AM market is forecasted to more than double in size over the next five years, reaching a value of $37.2 billion in 2026.
  • Limited accessibility to traditional manufacturing technologies accelerated AM adoption in 2020 with 65% of engineering businesses increasing their usage of 3D printing compared to the previous year.
  • The application of AM for functional end-use parts is progressing, with 54% of engineering businesses increasing their usage of 3D printing for functional end-use parts in 2020 and 30% of engineering businesses maintaining their usage of 3D printing for functional end-use parts.
  • However, some 38% of engineering businesses report price and 29% report part quality as the key factors that prevent them from utilizing 3D printing more.
  • In 2021, 73% of engineering businesses predict they will produce or source more 3D printed parts compared to 2020.

The Additive Manufacturing Trend Report 2021 follows a survey conducted in February 2021 with 1,504 engineering businesses and a review of the news and market analyst reports.

The full report can be accessed here.

This story uses material from 3D Hubs, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.