IDC reports spending in Asia Pacific excluding Japan 3D printing market to reach $4.3B by 2019


It’s no secret that the 3D printing market is steadily expanding, but it can sometimes be a bit challenging to pinpoint exactly how big it is and where we are collectively heading. Fortunately, market experts from International Data Corporation (IDC) have repeatedly proven themselves to make very accurate analyses and precise predictions, which makes their latest report on the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) market very interesting. One of the fastest growing tech markets in the world, 3D printing is a huge hit there already and spending in that market is set to grow considerably over the coming years, IDC predicts. By 2019, they say, spending in that market will have nearly tripled to $4.3 billion.

The International Data Corporation (IDC), of course, is the world leading provider of market intelligence, advisory services and data for a number of fields, information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. With a presence in more than 100 countries throughout the world, they typically know what they’re talking about. Their new Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide predicts quite some remarkable growth in developing regions, though it is actually part of a huge report on the 3D printing industry that covers all markets, hardware and 3D printing opportunities for 20 industries. The company previously predicted that the spending on 3D printing in the Middle East and Africa market will more than double over the coming years, growing to $1.3 billion by 2019.

But it looks like the APeJ market will eclipse that. IDC is predicting a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% for the Asia Pacific excluding Japan market, which will see spending grow from $1.5 billion to $4.3 billion by 2019. In fact, the APeJ market holds the majority share of hardware spending in the international 3D printing market, being considerably larger than that in the Americas. However, more 3D printers are being used in North and South America than in Asia.

According to Rachel Selvaranee, Market Analyst of IDC’s Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions research, they do expect 3D printers to be more commonly used in the APeJ market over the coming years. “Companies in this region have the capital to invest in 3D printers but have yet to fully utilize the printers to the point of continuous use for production indicating a relatively lower print volume. IDC expect to see stronger growth in the coming years as organizations explore the use of 3D printers unique to their markets,” she says.

In the spending guide, several sectors of the 3D printing industry are also separately explored. According to IDC, the discrete manufacturing sector is currently the leading vertical market for 3D printing in APeJ, accounting for more than 605 of the total market. That sector is expected to grow with an CAGR of 15% over the coming years. At the same time, the aerospace and defense sector leads in terms of 3D IT spending right now (20% of total spending), but that sector is expected to become more important for spending on 3D printing. That growth is being boosted by a blooming aviation market in the region, and IDC goes as far as predicting that sector will spend as much as $550 million on 3D printing by 2019.


Remarkably, IDC further singled out the dental sector as one of the key growers in the APeJ 3D printing market – with an expected CAGR growth rate of 25% by 2019. “We are witnessing the growth of commercial 3D printing facilities catered to dental and medical sectors in Asia to cater to the demands of the overseas markets,” said Selvaranee. Especially new medical solutions, such as implants, 3D bioprinting and surgical tools will push that growth.

But the positive effects of government support for 3D printing innovation also cannot be ignored. Of course the Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” initiative to promote high-tech manufacturing in aerospace, aviation and automotive industries and 3D printing education makes it the frontrunner in this respect, but other governments are implementing similar policies. “Supportive government policies and research funding from countries like Singapore, China, Korea, Taiwan and Australia are the backbone of the exploration 3D printing in Asia. With this support, 3D printing will fuel growth for innovation in steering the region to increased efficiency and productivity gains,” said Selvaranee.

On the whole, it seems that 3D printing is becoming a very viable manufacturing tool in the Asia Pacific region, and one that will affect numerous industries. “From aerospace manufacturing mainstream to the unprecedented presence in almost all industries, 3D printing is shaping up as smart solution to improve production quality, accuracy and speed. Our research suggests the 3D printing technology foot prints are now perceptible in retail and food processing industries,” said Rubal Sabharwal, the Manager of IDC’s Consumer Insights and Analysis Group.