Sales of 3D printers and their related materials and services are forecast to expand to $16.2bn (£9.7bn) in 2018, up from $2.5bn last year, says Canalys.
The market watcher said the global market will grow to $3.8bn this year and continue to grow rapidly over the next four or five years. For 3D printers alone, sales are tipped to reach $1.3bn this year.
Tim Shepherd, senior analyst at Canalys, said the main barriers to growth are being addressed.
"Advances in technology are yielding faster print times and enabling objects to be printed in greater combinations of materials, colours and finishes. Crucially, prices are also falling, making the technology an increasingly feasible option for a broad variety of enterprise and consumer uses," he said.
Shepherd claimed that 3D print is restricted in its growth only by access to computer-aided design (CAD) skills and the availability of the printers themselves – and both issues are set to reduce as more prototypes and concept models are made for "all manner of products" in a range of sectors such as aerospace, military, and healthcare.
More immediately, the market analyst expects print-to-order services to drive "considerable growth", according to fellow Canalyst researcher Joe Kempton.
"There is a clear opportunity for companies to establish 3D printing-service studios to address the growing demand for the custom products that this technology makes possible," Kempton suggested.
Demand will grow alongside the customisation potential, convenience and manufacturing efficiencies, he said, with items being printed to order, perhaps locally.
According to Kempton, 3D print also promises less material waste and even lower energy consumption.
"Expect to see major new entrants making an impact in the coming years, including giants such as HP. This is a market that will look very different in five years," he added.
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