3D Printer SalesWorldwide 3D printer sales are set to reach $17.8 billion over the next five years, according to latest figures from market research firm, Context. The figures include printers, materials and services. Hardware sales alone are projected to grow from $1.8 billion in 2016 to $6.4 billion in 2020 representing a 38% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Prototyping has driven sales up to now but R&D teams are struggling to break into manufacturing due to the challenges of printing metal parts. This however, remains the fastest growing sub-segment in the Industrial space with firms like GE and Boeing already using 3D printing to mass-produce intricate metal parts for the aerospace and medical markets. Context also said that the desktop 3D market continues to grow significantly, with a renewed focus on education, hobbyists and young engineers.