Half a million 3D printers to ship next year

3D printer - Wikimedia CommonsGartner said that it estimates that worldwide shipments of 3D printers in 2016 will reach close to half a million.

That’s up 103 percent from the quarter of a million units that will ship this year, the report said.

The reason for growth in the 3D printer market is because of quality and performance improvements which are driving demand from both enterprises and ordinary people.

Pete Basiliere, research VP at Gartner, said: “The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to a broad based global market of enteprises and consumers.”

He said that seven technologies make up the 3D market, with material extrusion being the leader of the pack. He forecasts these units will reach five and a half million units in 2019, representing 97 percent of the total, largely because of the sale of entry level machines.

Enterprises are interested in the technologies because they can prototype new products and make tools used to produce other items.