Gartner has been shuffling its tarot cards and expects global shipments of 3D printers are expected to double to nearly half a million units in 2016, before doubling again every year until 2019.
The market watcher said shipments will reach 5.6 million in 2019, up from 496,475 in 2016 and 244,533 this year. 3D printing is having a bit of a sulk after rival research house Context claimed the market suffered its first ever sequential decline in Q2. Gartner thinks that material extrusion will lead shipments this year with 232,336 units.
More than 5.5 million material extrusion units will ship by 2019 – accounting for 97.5 per cent of the market – mainly due to increased sales of low-cost, entry-level devices, Gartner said.
"The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers, Big G claimed.
The research also found that 3D printers costing less than $1,000 will account for 25.5 per cent of devices costing up to $2,500 this year, but will increase to 40.7 per cent by 2019.
The leading vertical in the under-$2,500 space is education, added Gartner.
"Enterprise 3D printers can not only prototype new products and produce tools and fixtures that are used to make other items, but also high-quality, short-run finished goods. This multifaceted ability is driving their growth worldwide," Gartner said.