Interest in 3D printing has exploded following the expiration of key patents in 2009: key players have been quick to capitalise on this demand, some enjoying exponential revenue growth as a result. Although 3D printing hardware and materials have been the focus of considerable technological advancement over the past few decades, until recently, the supporting software, essential to obtaining high quality prints, has not received an equivalent level of interest.
Prior to this explosion of interest, the 3D printing software market was characterised by multiple free and open source build processors, with one or two organisations catering to the industrial user with commercial offerings. In 2017, the landscape has changed considerably: there have been several new entrants following acquisition of smaller start-ups with both established CAD/PLM developers and 3D printer manufacturers keen to carve out a share of this rapidly growing market. The push to develop software that enables Design for Additive Manufacture for users looking to fully leverage the design freedoms offered by 3D printing is one of the key drivers of this growth. Given these market trends, IDTechEx forecasts that the global market for 3D printing metals will grow at a CAGR of 22% and will be worth $966 million by the year 2028.
Technology and Applications
3D printing software encompasses all software required to realise a 3D model from CAD to print. This report provides a detailed overview of the functions of different 3D printing software technologies including scanning for reverse engineering, CAD, CAE, CAM and workflow management, as well as evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the most common file formats for 3D printing and their potential alternatives. Areas in which users' needs remain unmet by current technologies are highlighted.
New developments and trends within the 3D printing software market are discussed including printer-specific software solutions developed by printer hardware manufacturers, as well as recent applications of leading-edge software tools for generative design, mass customisation and multimaterial printing.
This report forecasts the overall 3D printing software market to 2028, with in depth SWOT analyses of the major CAE, CAM and workflow management products available on the market today. The current state of the 3D printing software market is analysed, and long-range forecasts from 2018-2028 for revenue per annum segmented by commercialised CAE, CAM and workflow management product groups are evaluated.
IDTechEx conducted exhaustive primary research with companies within the 3D printing value chain for key insights into the trends impacting growth to 2028. Over 25 company profiles have been included in the report, including Materialise, Dassault Systèmes and Autodesk, among others.
Key questions that are answered in this report
What are the current and emerging 3D printing software products in 2017?
What does the 3D printing software value chain look like?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of different 3D printing software products?
Who are the key software developers catering to the 3D printing market?
What are the market shares of those active in the market?
What are the horizontal and vertical competitive forces facing market incumbents?
What is the purchasing behaviour of different customer segments?
What are the key drivers and restraints of market growth?
What are the unmet needs of users of 3D printing software?
How will sales of different 3D printing software products evolve from 2018 to 2028?