Information and communications technology (ICT) spending in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) will hit US$1.5 trillion in 2021, according to IDC.
3D printing continues to gain traction globally and the market is expected to more than double to reach US$35.4 billion in 2020, according to IDC.
While 3D printers and materials will represent nearly half the total worldwide revenues throughout the IDC forecast, software and related services will also experience significant growth.
Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth. The gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customization in non-traditional environments.
While 3D printing is a much talked about topic these days with several startups getting crowdfunding to deliver such solutions, Gartner beileves that the technology is five to 10 years away from mainstream adoption.
The research firm pointed out that consumer adoption will be outpaced by business and medical applications that have more compelling use cases in the short term.
“Consumer 3D printing is around five to 10 years away from mainstream adoption. Today, approximately 40 manufacturers sell the 3D printers most commonly used in businesses, and over 200 startups worldwide are developing and selling consumer-oriented 3D printers, priced from just a few hundred dollars. However, even this price is too high for mainstream consumers at this time, despite broad awareness of the technology and considerable media interest,” said Pete Basiliere, Research Vice President of Gartner.
3D printing is gaining traction with Gartner expecting worldwide shipments of 3D printers (3DPs) priced less than US$100,000 expected to grow 49 percent this year to reach a total of 56,507 units.
Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3DP technologies will drive enterprise and consumer demand. Gartner said that shipments will increase further in 2014, growing 75 percent to 98,065 units, followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015.
“The 3D printer market has reached its inflection point. While still a nascent market, with hype outpacing the technical realities, the speed of development and rise in buyer interest are pressing hardware, software and service providers to offer easier-to-use tools and materials that produce consistently high-quality results,” said Pete Basiliere, Research Director of Gartner.