The 3D printing industry has experienced a mix of results in Q1 2023, with companies exploring mergers and acquisitions amidst increasing demand for high-end systems.
This report from CONTEXT sheds light on the performance of key players like Stratasys,
3D Systems, and Desktop Metal, as well as the overall trends in unit shipments and revenues across different sectors.
Mergers and Acquisitions Amidst Inflation and Demand Surge:
The race to establish the world’s first $1B+ 3D printing company has sparked interest in M&A activities, with Stratasys, 3D Systems, and Desktop Metal in the spotlight.
recent events have put Stratasys’ merger with Desktop Metal in question as offers from 3D Systems and Nano Dimension leave the industry guessing.
Fluctuating Unit Shipment Growth and Rising System Revenues:
In contrast to the Industrial and Professional pricing classes, where new additive manufacturing system shipments have decreased year over year, the Midrange, Personal, and Kit & Hobby price classes have shown substantial growth. Surprisingly, despite the fluctuation in unit shipment growth, system revenues have risen by 15% compared to the previous year, primarily driven by inflationary price increases and a shift in demand towards higher-end metal systems.
Challenges and Opportunities in Different Sectors:
The decline in global shipments of Industrial 3D printers is primarily attributed to weaker sales of polymer systems. However, revenues in this segment rose due to the growing demand for higher-efficiency metal machines.
Industrial metal 3D printers, particularly powder bed fusion (PBF) printers,
have performed better, with revenues rising by 25% YoY despite a decrease in unit sales.
Growth in Midrange 3D Printers and Consumer-Centric Market:
Midrange 3D printers experienced an 18% YoY growth in unit shipments,
driven by new products and strong domestic demand in China.
However, shipments of Professional 3D printers dropped significantly in Q1 2023,
but revenues only fell by 15% YoY due to a rise in weighted pricing.
Promising Future and Mass Production Potential
Despite subdued full-year growth expectations for lower-end, consumer-centric Personal and Kit & Hobby printers, the industry’s prospects remain bright.
The demand for 3D printing is growing and accelerating, with ample room for growth in mass customization, low-volume production of complex parts, and volume mass production. These needs for mass manufacturing can be satisfied by technologies such as vat photopolymerization, PBF, and binder jetting, with metal PBF dominating the industrial market.
The future of 3D printing for the next ten years looks promising, with continuous demand growth and advancements in various printing technologies. Companies are exploring consolidation and public offerings to leverage the industry’s potential.
As the market expands further into mass-production applications,
3D printing is set to play a vital role in shaping various industries in the years to come.