Arlington, VA—Three-quarters of 3D printer owners (76%) report using their 3D printers daily or several times a week. This is according to a study released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
The new report, Eye on Emerging Technology: 3D Printing, examines the global market for consumer 3D printers. Furthermore, it focuses on consumer awareness and perceptions, price sensitivity and potential applications.
“3D printing is an emerging technology that has the potential to change the world,” said Steve Koenig, director, Industry Analysis, CEA. “As 3D printers evolve with new inputs, features and lower prices, they could transform the consumer landscape. Much like MP3 players impacted the music industry.”
According to CEA’s U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast, 3D printers will bring in $76 million in total revenue in 2014 in the U.S., up 44% from 2013, and earn $121 million worldwide this year. CEA further predicts the devices will see double-digit growth in U.S. unit shipments through 2018. Additionally, they will generate $175 million in total revenue. In addition, it estimates a compound annual growth rate of up to 37.1% through 2018.
“Strong 3D printer growth will be driven by increasing consumer demand, technological development and higher levels of competition,” added Koenig. “Revenue from sales is unlikely to grow as quickly as unit sales, though, as increased competition and market segmentation are likely to cause a drop in prices—a win for the consumer.”
Other study findings include: 23% of online U.S. adults report being familiar with the technology; 51% say they’re unfamiliar with 3D printing technology; 76% report using their 3D printers daily or several times a week; only 18% of 3D printer owners report using their 3D printer once a week; and 7% use it one or two times a month.
“We expect consumer familiarity with 3D printers to grow as more and more large retailers begin to carry the devices,” said Koenig. “This is great for retailers as it creates an ‘attraction’ for consumers to come see 3D printers in action in the store.”
What Consumers Are Creating with 3D Printers
According to CEA’s report, consumers are most interested in using 3D printers to create items such as household goods (52%), smartphone cases (51%), jewelry (49%), clothing (48%) and toys (45%).
The Eye on Emerging Technology: 3D Printing study was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research. The group is a comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research as well as historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. The complete report is available at no cost to CEA member companies at members.CE.org. Furthermore, nonmembers may purchase the report in the CEA Store. ce.org