Emerging Technology

3D Printing Investing

A new report suggests the global 3D printing software market will reach $4.5 billion by 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 25.2 percent.

While the 3D printing software market has been around for decades, the last few years have certainly been telling for the industry–in terms of market size, growth and evolvement–and its future outlook is indicative that it isn’t going to slow down.
A new report from Research and Markets released October 20–called the “Global 3D Printing Software and Services Market, Analysis & Forecast“–looks at growth the market growth between 2017-2021. According to the research firm, the 3D printing software and services sector will reach a whopping $4.5 billion by 2021–a significant increase from its valuation of $1.45 billion in 2016–and representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.2 percent between now and then.
“The global 3D printing software and services market is emerging at a rapid pace,” the research summary note states.

In backing that up, the report notes over time the overall industry has expanded to include new applications such as design and modeling, data preparation, simulation and machine control such as slicing software, which has made it easier to design and create 3D printed products.
Paired with that, of course, is the cost-effectiveness of newer 3D printing technology, which a Sculpteo report suggests will significantly impact how the 3D printing market will evolve.
Similarly, the Research and Markets’ report highlights that most consumer 3D printers are priced at less than $1,000, but the cost of 3D printers “that offer precision” for businesses can be as high as several thousand dollars. The report added:

The current trend that is trailing in the 3D printing industry is that many of the small businesses are opting for 3D printing services, wherein they upload the design they need, and get the 3D printed products constructed by a 3D printing service provider (that already has a 3D printer) at a substantially low cost.

Of course, the growth of the overall 3D printing market wouldn’t be complete without some of the biggest players in the industry. Some of the top publicly traded companies Research and Markets’ list includes:

  • 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD): 3D Systems provides 3D printing solutions, ranging from 3D printers, print materials, software, on demand manufacturing services and digital design tools.
  • Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK): While Autodesk is an overall software corporation, it does dabble in 3D printing, which includes its 3D CAD software that ranges from AutoCAD, Inventor and Fusion 360, and 3D CAD software innovations.
  • Dassault Systemes SE (OTCMKTS:DASTY): Dassault Systemes develops software solutions in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which consists of 3D modeling applications, simulation applications that create virtual duplicates of products or production systems, social and collaborative applications, and information intelligence applications.
  • Materialise NV (NASDAQ:MTLS): Materialise administers additive manufacturing software and 3D printing services. The company provides its 3D printing software solutions to industries such as healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods.
  • Organovo Holdings (NASDAQ:ONVO): Organovo is focused on developing 3D human tissues used for preclinical assessment of drug effects, such as predictive toxicology, absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.
  • PTC (NASDAQ:PTC): PTC is also an overall computer software solutions company, but also provides professional 3D CAD product design and development solutions.
  • Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB): No list would be complete without Proto Labs, an e-commerce digital manufacturer of on-demand 3D printed, computer numerical control machined and injection-molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production.
  • Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS): Stratasys was incorporated in 1988, and operates in the healthcare, aerospace, automotive and education sectors. The company holds over 600 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents globally.

In short, it’s easy to see the promising outlook of the 3D printing software sector is backed by some heavy lifters in the industry–which is certainly poised to be promising for 3D printing investors as well.
For a more in depth look at some of the top 3D printing companies, check out our list here.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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