3D Printing Report

3D Printing Materials 2014-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts

Pricing, properties and projections for materials including photopolymers, thermoplastics and powders
"The 3D printing materials market will be worth in excess of $600m by 2025"
This product is no longer available. Click here to view latest edition
3D printing is currently the subject of a great deal of speculation and excitement in the media. Touted as the technology to bring about the next industrial revolution and the in-sourcing of manufacturing jobs back to the West, the term in fact refers to a raft of technologies each of which is compatible for use with a particular material type.
In fact the materials market for 3D printing is possibly the most contentious issue in the 3D printing industry today. 3D printer manufacturers are increasingly engaging in practices which are perceived by end-users as anti-competitive by locking customers in to their own materials supplies via key-coding and RFID tagging of material cartridges, an activity which is effectively enabling monopoly pricing of the materials concerned.
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(s) of their choice, and also by pressure from large end-users wielding buying power to force prices down.
This report gives forecasts to 2025 for the following materials supplies:
  • Photopolymers
  • Thermoplastics in solid form (ie. filaments and pellets)
  • Thermoplastics in powder form
  • Metal powders
  • Powder-bed inkjet powders
SWOT analyses in each class are given and end-user requirements detailed.
Materials in development but not yet commercial, which research is mainly taking place in universities, are also discussed.
The market for photopolymers will retain the largest single segment of the market through to 2025 although the other materials markets will gain market share in terms of tons produced driven largely by the move away from prototyping/tooling applications towards final product manufacture.
Fig. 1 The current breakdown of the materials market
Source: IDTechEx
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 combine such that prices for these materials will fall more slowly than for alternative 3D printing materials.
Market growth in a business-as-usual scenario when lock-in remains common practice and prices remain high will be steady, as illustrated below.
Fig. 2 Market growth in a business-as-usual scenario
Source: IDTechEx
However, extensive interviews with both materials developers and end-users indicate that prices are falling. This will modulate growth of the market size even as mass production increases in line with the growth of the cumulative installed base.
Further, for any given material class, market size (in terms of $M) is more sensitive to the installed base of the corresponding 3D printer technology than to the actual price of the materials themselves. Should material prices increase, only a small reduction in the average utilisation rate of the printer installed base is required for the market size to actually fall as a result.
3D Printing Market Watch
The 3D Printing Market Watch is an add-on subscription product that is a great compliment to our Market Research reports. It gives real-time global analysis of the 3D printing market through:
  • IDTechEx research articles - Articles analysing the latest developments, and assessing opportunities and risks. Market forecast data will be regularly included.
  • Company profiles - These typically include descriptions of technology and business models, main competitors and customers/partners, core product metric and financials, SWOT analyses and IDTechEx benchmark assessments.
  • Webinars - Regular webinars to watch live and any time after the broadcast.
  • Company presentations & conferences - View and listen to presentations given at historical and future IDTechEx 3D printing conferences.
  • Event summaries & round-ups - Summaries of key developments and learnings from conferences and tradeshows attended by IDTechEx.
By combining the Market Watch with our 3D Printing Market Research reports, subscribers will get the in-depth information needed with the benefit of timely updates and add-ons for the following 12 months from purchase. All the research will be accessed via our Market Intelligence Portal.
The 3D Printing Market Watch is only available to purchase along side our 3D Printing Market Research reports External Link. Please choose the report(s) you wish to purchase and at checkout you will be able to add the Market Watch to your order.
Analyst access from IDTechEx
All report purchases include up to 30 minutes telephone time with an expert analyst who will help you link key findings in the report to the business issues you're addressing. This needs to be used within three months of purchasing the report.
Further information
If you have any questions about this report, please do not hesitate to contact our report team at research@IDTechEx.com or call one of our sales managers:
Europe, Middle East & Africa
Clare Newell - UK: +44 (0)1223 812 300
Americas, Asia Pacific, Oceania & Spain
Raoul Escobar-Franco - US: +1 617 577 7890
UK, Germany, Denmark & Japan
Robert Purser - UK: +44 (0)1223 812 300
Table of Contents
3.1.Photopolymerisation based printing
3.2.Extrusion based printing
3.3.Powder-bed technologies
3.4.Summary of 3D printing technologies
4.1.Costs of materials
4.2.Material waste and recycling
4.3.2.Health & Safety
4.3.4.State of the market
4.3.5.The future of photopolymers for 3D printing
4.4.2.Health and safety
4.4.3.Thermoplastics for extrusion-based 3D printing
4.4.4.Thermoplastics for selective laser sintering
4.4.5.State of the market
4.4.6.The future of thermoplastics for 3D printing
4.5.Metal powders
4.5.2.Health and safety
4.5.4.State of the market
4.5.5.The future of metal powders for 3D printing
4.6.Other powders
6.2.Scenarios for 2025 market size as a function of installed base and price
6.2.2.Thermoplastics (solids)
6.2.3.Thermoplastic powder
6.2.4.Metal powders
6.2.5.Inkjet powders
6.2.7.A note on the relationship of materials prices to utilisation rates of printers
7.1.Metal Powders: Argen to LPW
7.1.1.The Argen Corporation, USA
7.1.2.Cookson Precious Metals Ltd, UK
7.1.3.Höganäs Digital Metal, Sweden
7.1.4.Legor Group S.p.A, Italy
7.1.5.Sandvik Osprey Ltd, UK
7.1.6.LPW Technology Ltd, UK
7.2.Thermoplastics: CRP to Evonik
7.2.1.CRP Group, Italy
7.2.2.Oxford Performance Materials, USA
7.2.3.KDI Polymer Specialists Ltd, UK
7.2.4.Exceltec Sarl
7.2.5.Evonik Industries
7.3.Ceramics Powders: Viridis3d
7.4.Photopolymers: Rahn and DSM
7.4.1.Rahn Group
7.4.2.DSM Functional Materials
1.1.Market forecasts to 2025 with falling prices and adjustment to breakdown in installed base
2.1.Material compatibility
2.2.Price comparison
3.1.Photopolymerisation based printer manufacturers
3.2.FDM based printer manufacturers
3.3.Power-bed manufacturers
4.1.Effect of post-curing on mechanical properties
4.2.Comparison of liquid photopolymers
4.3.Photopolymer suppliers for 3D printing by resin type
4.4.General comparison of properties of photopolymer versus thermoplastic 3D printed objects according to standard testing methods
4.5.Some high performance thermoplastics.
4.6.FDM thermoplastics
4.7.Common SLS thermoplastic powders
4.8.Good SLS powder properties
4.9.Properties of common metal powders for 3D printing
6.1.Summary of case scenarios in appendix 1
6.2.Materials market comparison
1.1.Market size for all 3D printing materials
1.2.Breakdown of materials type as a percentage of total market in 2013
1.3.Forecasts for 3D printing material by type in a business-as-usual scenario
1.4.A fully competitive 3D printing materials market
1.5.2025 breakdown of market as a percentage
1.6.Alternative breakdown of market as a percentage
1.7.Sensitivity of market size to installed base
3.1.Vat stereolithography
3.2.The Polyjet approach
3.3.Photopolymer 3D print
3.4.Photopolymer 3D print
3.5.Fused deposition modelling
3.6.FDM 3D print
3.7.FDM 3D print
3.8.Selective laser sintering/melting
3.9.The melt pool with electron beam melting (EBM)
3.10.Inkjet powder-bed
3.11.Laser generated brackets
3.12.Electron beam melted acetabula cup
3.13.Inkjet printed component
3.14.Technologies by installed base in 2013
4.1.3D printing materials supply chain
4.2.3D printed rings with anchors shown beneath
4.3.Photopolymerisation mechanisms
4.4.Patent publications relating to photocurable resins
4.5.Patent publications of 3D printing photopolymer formulations
4.6.SWOT analysis for photopolymers
4.7.Photopolymer characterisation for 3D printing
4.8.Molecular structures of thermoplastics
4.9.Volume behaviour with temperature for amorphous and semi-crystalline thermoplastics
4.10.Major suppliers of thermoplastics for 3D printing
4.11.Thermoplastic related patent publications
4.12.Patent publications of thermoplastic compositions for 3D printing
4.13.SWOT analysis for 3D printing thermoplastics
4.14.Radar diagram for FDM thermoplastics
4.15.Radar diagram for SLS thermoplastics
4.16.Requirements for thermoplastics
4.17.3D printing metal powders
4.18.Other suppliers of 3D printing metal powders
4.19.a: non-molten steel, b: molten copper, c: porosity
4.20.Densification at different chemical compositions
4.21.Densification as a function of particle size
4.22.Particle agglomeration occurs with particles <10microns
4.23.Commercial manufacturers of metal powders for 3D printing
4.24.Compositions of metal powders
4.25.Top organisations for metal powder composition patenting
4.26.SWOT analysis for metal powders for 3D printing
4.27.Radar diagram for metal powders for 3D printing
4.28.3D printed glass using the inkjet approach
4.29.Extrusion-based 3D printed glass
4.30.Powder providers for inkjet 3D printing
4.31.SWOT analysis of alternative powders
4.32.Radar diagram for alternative powders
5.1.SLS printed CHAp scaffold
5.2.3D printed electrodes
5.3.3D printing with carbomorph
6.1.Total market value of 3D printing materials
6.2.Total mass of 3D printing materials produced, in tons
6.3.Breakdown of installed in 2013 base by technology as a percentage (total installed based 60,000)
6.4.Production of 3D printing materials for 2013 in tons
6.5.Mass production at fixed relative installed base
6.6.Market breakdown for the business as usual scenario
6.7.Market size in 2025
6.8.Market size in 2025 compared to 2013
6.9.Market for thermoplastic powders in 2025
6.10.Market for metal powders
6.11.Inkjet powder market size in 2025
6.12.Sensitivity of materials market ($) as a function of installed base
6.13.Sensitivity of utility rate to materials prices

Ordering Information

Report Statistics

-Forecasts to2025


pdf Document Webinar slides
pdf Document Sample pages

Contact Us

US and Asia-Pacific:
+1 617 577 7890
+44 (0)1223 812300
r.purser@IDTechEx.com (UK, Germany, Denmark)
+81 90 5566 1533


Functional Materials for Future Electronics: Metals, Inorganic & Organic Compounds, Graphene, CNT
Fine chemicals needed for future electronics: morphologies, forms, derivatives: opportunities, trends, reasons: de-risk your investment
3D Printing 2015-2025: Technologies, Markets, Players
Current usage, future applications and market forecasts


print Print Page
email Forward Page
-  Library Recommendation