3D Printing Service Bureaus Market - Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 and Forecast 2017 - 2025


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3D Printing Service Bureaus Market: Snapshot 

The drive for 3D printing service bureaus apparently draws strength from the reluctance of end-use industries to engage in additive manufacturing of metals. In many respects 3D printing of metals is different from polymer ones, given the difficult parameters and process involved, which has crippled in-house printing competencies. In the face of expanding metal businesses in various end-use industries, 3D printer deployments for polymer will no doubt see a rise, but this will create large unmet demand for the metal counterpart. This is the key underpinning of the evolution of the 3D printing service bureaus market. Several interrelated developments will fuel the dynamics of the 3D printing service bureaus market. For one, decline in the cost of metal 3D printers will propel developments in the market. Further, disruptions are likely to be seen in the 3D printing service bureaus market from entry of players claiming supply chain efficiencies. In addition, the high capital required to enter the market can also be favorable factor for some companies to enter this competitive market. 

Growing popularity of metal printing in developing and developed countries has direct bearing on the 3D printing service bureaus market. Growing demand for 3D printing of complex metal parts in automotive is bolstering prospects. 3D printing service bureaus benefit from high process efficiencies. Additionally, they have also expanded the repository of equipment. The market will see new avenues from the increasing attention of these bureaus in meeting customized requirements. A prominent case in point is emerging demand in aerospace industry. They are adopting new strategies to carve out attractive propositions for the end-use industry.

3D Printing Service Bureaus Market Overview

Isn’t it like a childhood dream turned into reality for so many of us when one can create a physical object just from a simple visualisation or digital image? That is exactly what 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing is all about! It converts digital blueprint files into solid, tangible objects with the help of a layer-by-layer material process. It was primarily used to create prototypes and spare tools but it has gradually evolved into an advanced manufacturing technique that can potentially allow real-time, local, on-demand production of not only spare parts but also final products. 3D printing is currently possible with a range of materials including thermoplastics, composites, metals, alloys and ceramics.

When 3D printing was first introduced in the 1980’s, it was naturally very expensive technology affordable to only the largest multinational companies. It gradually became more cost-effective and popular in the mainstream which made both small and mid-size companies and enthusiastic, tech-savvy individuals seriously consider investing in a 3D printing device. While purchasing a self-owned device is one option, another available one is to look at the 3D Printing Service Bureaus market. Service bureaus allow organisations to secure high-quality rapid prototypes and finished products with a minimal amount of risk. Service bureaus are typically early adopters of new technologies which also holds true for the 3D Printing Service Bureaus market.

3D Printing Service Bureaus Market Drivers

3D printing can be used in fields as diverse as jewellery, aerospace & defence, entertainment (children’s video games & toys), art, architecture, eyewear, retail, healthcare, machinery, and Information Technology, amongst many others. The emergence of mid-level, cost effective 3D printers along with the increasing printing speed is anticipated to be the main driver of the 3D Printing Service Bureaus market. This is particularly important in areas like art and fashion that have fleeting fads and quick decisions are expected to survive in a brutally competitive industry. There is also a marked preference for customers to opt for customised, personal products perfectly suited to their needs or requirements. For e.g. – A person might wish for a unique pair of spectacles, a joint replacement, dental brace or some other medical implant made exclusively for them. This saves them from major hassles in the future like the body rejecting the implant, the fit being incorrect and so on.

3D Printing Service Bureaus Market Restraints

Some of the challenges faced by the 3D Printing Service Bureaus market are –

  • Depreciation – The standard time for any asset to depreciate to minimum salvage value is 3 to 7 years but 3D printers are evolving extremely rapidly. It is not an impossible scenario to imagine a 3D printer becoming obsolete within just 2 years. Clients might require newer materials, higher resolutions and faster output time which will force companies to incur huge capital expenditure on a frequent basis. Even printers which do not become entirely outdated will still lose a substantial chunk of their book value, hurting the organisation’s profitability.
  • Lack of awareness – 3D printing, while exciting, is still a very niche market. There is a general awareness of the 3D Printing Service Bureaus market but most applications of the technology are nowhere near as widespread as they can be. Many uses have not even been invented yet! Seminars, workshops, tutorials, e-events, one-on-one advice and e-consultancy are vital to penetrate 3D printing into potentially lucrative markets. Unfortunately, this is an extremely time-consuming and expensive process which does not guarantee a certain return on investment. This also creates a chicken and egg situation. Due to low demand, opting for volumes over profits is unsustainable. On the other hand, the numbers would be too small to eke a reasonable profit.

3D Printing Service Bureaus Market Key Regions

The largest 3D Printing Service Bureaus market at present is currently the U.S, followed by Europe. Companies are spread across the globe in countries as far apart as the U.S, U.K, Germany, France, India, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands.

3D Printing Service Bureaus Market Key Players 

Key 3D Printing Service Bureaus market players include Shapeways, Makexyz, Ponoko, Sculpteo, i.Materialise, 3D Hubs, Rapid3D and Imaginarium.

MRR.BIZ has been compiled in-depth market research data in the report after exhaustive primary and secondary research. Our team of able, experienced in-house analysts has collated the information through personal interviews and study of industry databases, journals, and reputable paid sources.

The report provides the following information:

  • Tailwinds and headwinds molding the market’s trajectory
  • Market segments based on products, technology, and applications
  • Prospects of each segment
  • Overall current and possible future size of the market
  • Growth pace of the market
  • Competitive landscape and key players’ strategies

The main aim of the report is to:

  • Enable key stakeholder’s in the market bet right on it
  • Understand the opportunities and pitfalls awaiting them
  • Assess the overall growth scope in the near term
  • Strategize effectively with respect to production and distribution

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