CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA:  According to a new report from SmarTech Markets Publishing, the market for personal 3D printers will reach $115 million this year, growing to around $590 million by 2018. Total revenues generated by personal 3D printing — comprising printers, scanners, software and services consumed by the personal 3D printer segment — will reach $1.46 billion by 2018.

“Personal 3D Printers: Market Forecast and Market Share Analysis: 2013-2022” is the latest industry analysis report from SmarTech, an industry analysis firm covering new market opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

From the report:

There may be as many as 40 companies supplying personal 3D printers at the present time, but SmarTech says that three-fourths of the revenue will come from just three companies: MakerBot (soon to be part of Stratasys), 3D Systems and Beijing Tiertime. More than 90 percent of revenues from the 3D personal printer segment will come from the “SmarTech 3D Personal Printing Top Ten,” which also includes Aleph Objects, Fabbster, Formlabs, German RepRap, Printrbot, Solidoodle and Ultimaking.

SmarTech notes that personal 3D printing is gaining credibility as the result of support from major brands such as Amazon, Microsoft, Staples, Sainsbury’s, and UPS. Meanwhile, the report projects that a growing number of large firms will subsidize their engineering staff to buy personal 3D printers in order to enhance innovation in their companies.

SmarTech also believes there is a major opportunity for 3D personal printing software. It notes that currently much of this opportunity is designed for members of the “Maker” movement and less for regular consumers and small businesses. Indeed, SmarTech wonders aloud whether personal 3D printing could someday spawn a new Microsoft. Or could that firm actually be Microsoft? Software for personal 3D printing will reach $310 million by 2018.

Nonetheless, SmarTech expresses concern that lower end printers – those costing just a few hundred dollars – may disappoint buyers and this could act as a retarding influence on the personal 3D printing market.

About the report:
This report provides eight-year market forecasts of software, services and scanners along with the printers themselves. Breakouts are included by consumer users, manufacturing, education and medical/dental applications. Profiles of all leading printer makers are included with assessments of their market shares.

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