September 3, 2013




The following is an excerpt from Photizo Group’s five-year outlook on the personal 3D printing industry.  The complete white paper, written by Scott Dunham, is available for download on


By some industry accounts, the personal 3D printing market experienced a stark slowing of growth in 2012 when compared to its initial four years, which has prompted many to speculate that the relatively unexpected slowdown in growth is a signal that the technology is too limited in its current form for a commercialized consumer product and widespread adoption.


Thus, an interesting juxtaposition has been created. While some think personal 3D printing is gimmicky, the current mainstream idealism is that 3D printers may eventually become a household item similar to traditional printers, or that personal 3D printing will eventually reduce the need for mass-produced consumer goods. Headlines telling of 3D printed medical miracles fuel unchecked optimism in the realm of popular opinion, but many who have been using personal 3D printers for years are skeptical about how the technology will perform on a commercial scale. This dichotomy has left many wondering: what is the future for low-cost 3D printers?


Photizo Group, through analysis of personal 3D printing trends, market development, and decades of experience with technology hardware, believes that personal 3D printing is just beginning a new stage in its continued evolution. The early hobbyists have driven the market for low cost printers to the point it has reached today, but the recent reports of a slowdown in sales in this segment are not the end of rapid growth for desktop 3D printers. Actually, Photizo Group does not identify with either of these two prevailing (and extreme) theories.


In fact, market developments over the past eight months seem to indicate the personal 3D printing market is entering the first stages of a commercialized market. With a rapidly expanding retail presence, developing technology infrastructure and interest from veteran manufacturers, personal 3D printing is entering another stage of increasing growth rates. All of these contributing factors are in their infancy at this point and their influence will have a cumulative effect during the next three to five years.


The following figure represents Photizo’s view on future growth in the personal 3D printing market space relative to the entire global 3D printing industry during the next five years. By 2017, Photizo Group expects that sales of hardware and supplies for personal 3D printers could comprise 15 percent of the total 3D printing market. To put this growth in perspective, Photizo expects more than 50,000 personal 3D printers will be sold worldwide in 2013. By 2017 this number is expected to grow to nearly 650,000.



In addition to this five-year outlook of the personal 3D printing industry, Photizo is conducting a primary research study that aims to provide a ground-level view of personal 3D printing trends across the globe. To participate in the study or to purchase the results, currently available for pre-sale, visit


About Photizo Group:

A leading transformation firm, Photizo Group assists clients in transforming from product-centric to services-centric companies. We provide clients with innovative and practical market intelligence, consulting, and education services based on our deep industry insight and objective analysis. Photizo is a trusted advisor and provides clients, as well as the entire imaging market, with the visionary guidance they need to make successful business decisions. 


Photizo Group has recently expanded its market research and consulting services with fresh insight into the 3D Printing market and related ecosystems.  For more information on Photizo Group’s expansion into 3D Printing technology visit or follow @Photizo3D on Twitter.




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