3D Printing Market Size [2023]: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the current market size of 3D printing, its growth potential, and the challenges it faces.

Quick Answer

The 3D printing market is a rapidly growing industry, with McKinsey reporting it to be a $14.7 billion industry with a 22% annual growth rate. This dynamic sector has over 200 players competing to develop new hardware, software, and materials. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), uses computer-generated designs to create 3D objects layer-by-layer. It has evolved rapidly and can now work with substances like powders, resins, metals, carbon, and even flesh. This technology is widely used in consumer and industrial goods, defense and aerospace industries, automotive companies, component suppliers, healthcare, and dental industries.

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Quick Tips and Facts

  • The 3D printing market is valued at $14.7 billion with a 22% annual growth rate. (source: McKinsey)
  • Over 200 companies are competing in the 3D printing industry, driving innovation in hardware, software, and materials.
  • 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, creates objects layer-by-layer using computer-generated designs.
  • It can work with a wide range of materials, including powders, resins, metals, carbon, and even biological materials.
  • The technology is used in various industries, including consumer goods, defense, aerospace, automotive, healthcare, and dental.


The 3D printing market has experienced significant growth in recent years. McKinsey’s report on the industry highlights its current market size of $14.7 billion and a 22% annual growth rate. This growth can be attributed to the continuous innovation in hardware, software, and materials by over 200 companies competing in the market.

1. The Evolution of 3D Printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), has come a long way since its inception. Initially, it was limited to creating simple prototypes and models. However, advancements in technology have expanded its capabilities, allowing it to work with a wide range of materials, including powders, resins, metals, carbon, and even biological materials.

Today, 3D printing is widely used in various industries. In the consumer goods sector, it enables the production of customized products and small-batch manufacturing. In the defense and aerospace industries, it plays a crucial role in creating complex components and reducing lead times. Automotive companies and component suppliers utilize 3D printing for rapid prototyping and tooling. The healthcare and dental industries benefit from 3D printing’s ability to create patient-specific medical devices and implants.

2. Unique Value Proposition of 3D Printing

The value proposition of 3D printing lies in its ability to provide unique benefits compared to traditional manufacturing methods. Some of these benefits include:

  • Better Performance and Lower Costs: 3D printing allows for the creation of complex geometries and optimized designs that can enhance the performance of products. Additionally, it can reduce costs by eliminating the need for tooling and reducing material waste.

  • Mass-Scale Customization: With 3D printing, it is possible to create customized products at scale. This enables companies to cater to individual customer preferences and deliver personalized products.

  • Reduced Time to Market: 3D printing enables rapid prototyping and iterative design processes, reducing the time it takes to bring a product to market. This agility gives companies a competitive edge in fast-paced industries.

  • On-Demand Production: 3D printing allows for the production of items on-demand from digital files. This eliminates the need for large inventories and enables companies to respond quickly to changing market demands.

3. Advancements in 3D Printing Technology

The rapid innovation in 3D printing technology has led to significant improvements in its performance and capabilities. The latest generations of 3D printers can create stronger parts with improved mechanical properties. Additionally, a wider range of materials can now be used in 3D printing, including high-performance polymers, metals, ceramics, and even biological materials.

These advancements have expanded the applications of 3D printing. It is now used not only for prototyping and small-scale production but also for tooling, spare parts, and fixtures in conventional manufacturing processes. The ability to create complex geometries and lightweight structures has made 3D printing particularly valuable in industries such as aerospace and automotive.

4. The Impact on the Global Supply Chain

Some industry experts believe that 3D printing has the potential to permanently change the global supply chain. With increasing labor costs in countries like China, companies are looking for alternative manufacturing methods that can reduce costs and increase flexibility. 3D printing offers the possibility of localized production, where products can be manufactured closer to the point of consumption, reducing transportation costs and lead times.

However, large-scale adoption of 3D printing still faces limitations and challenges. The technology is not yet capable of producing certain complex products at the same scale and cost as traditional manufacturing methods. Additionally, the availability of suitable materials and the need for specialized expertise in design and manufacturing pose challenges to widespread adoption.


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What is the current market size of 3D printing?

The current market size of 3D printing is estimated to be $14.7 billion. (source: McKinsey)

Read more about “… 3D Printing Market Share: A Comprehensive Guide”

How big is the 3D printing market in 2025?

The 3D printing market is projected to reach a value of $35.6 billion by 2025. (source: MarketsandMarkets)

Read more about “… The Explosive Growth of the 3D Printing Market: A Comprehensive Guide”

What is the forecast for 3D printing market size?

The 3D printing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.2% from 2020 to 2027, reaching a value of $51.77 billion. (source: Grand View Research)

How big is the personal 3D printing market?

The personal 3D printing market is relatively small compared to the overall 3D printing market. It is estimated to be around $1.5 billion in 2020. (source: Statista)


The 3D printing market is a rapidly growing industry with a current market size of $14.7 billion. McKinsey’s report highlights the potential of this technology to disrupt traditional manufacturing methods and offers unique value propositions such as better performance, mass-scale customization, reduced time to market, and on-demand production.

While 3D printing has made significant advancements in recent years, it still faces limitations and challenges that hinder its large-scale adoption. However, the industry continues to innovate, driving improvements in performance and expanding the range of materials that can be used.

As the market continues to grow, ambitious manufacturers should consider incorporating 3D printing into their operations to develop knowledge and capabilities in this emerging technology. While 3D printing is not yet mainstream, its potential to transform industries and supply chains cannot be ignored.

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