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April 2, 2015

3D printing revenues surpassed £2.2bn in 2014

Market is booming with 34% rise year-on-year.

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The market for 3D printing grew to £2.2bn last year in a 34% increase from 2013, according to the research firm Canalys.

133,000 3D printers are thought by the firm to have been shipped globally in 2014, an increase of 68% on the year before.

Joe Kempton, research analyst at Canalys, said: "We’ve seen the 3D printing industry go from strength to strength in 2014.

"As we expected, the holiday season saw the most significant growth, particularly in the consumer segment, with many users buying their first 3D printer.

"A combination of falling prices, a wider range of technologies on offer and improved printing speeds helped fuel this demand."
In the last quarter of 2014 revenue from 3D printers is estimated by Canalys to have exceeded $1bn (£667bn), the first time it has ever done so.

Though the Americas accounted for a plurality of shipments, at 42%, EMEA vouched for just under a third and APAC just over a quarter.

Notably around three-quarters of all 3D printers sold in the last quarter were worth less than $10,000 (£6,700), giving Canalys reason to conclude that the importance of consumers in the market is growing.

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"Low-priced consumer and prosumer 3D printing has made leaps in terms of technological ability, including those coming through crowdfunding portals such as Kickstarter," Kempton said.

"Whereas these consumer printers used to be almost exclusively material extrusion devices, we’ve seen large growth rates in the vat polymerisation segment as prices have fallen, which means more options for consumers."

He added that whilst large market players such as MakerBot and Ultimaker had grown there were also "substantial increases" from Chinese vendors, which are becoming more important because of the rise of consumer 3D printing.

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