The 3D printer market is set to generate $7.5bn (£4.4bn) in sales by 2018, fuelled by the likes of HP, Ricoh and Samsung entering the market and grabbing mindshare from incumbents.
And the analyst predicts the number of units sold will rocket from 78,000 in 2013 to more than one million by 2018.
Matt Marshall, head of print and imaging at Futuresource Consulting, said: “3D printing has the potential to disrupt so many aspects of the current imaging and output ecosystem. From physical supply chain intermediaries to retail outlets serving the growing consumer boom for 3D object production, right through to vertical sectors such as medical and aviation, where 3D production is already registering a massive impact.
“As a result we're seeing a multitude of machine manufacturers, scanner manufacturers, designers, content owners, retailers, assembly plants, IP authorities and innovators all exploring the possibilities and assessing whether 3D printing will complement or compete with traditional manufacturing."
The figure is slightly higher than rival analyst Canalys’ predictions earlier this year that the market is set to hit $5.4bn by 2018.
Senior analyst Tim Shepherd said at the time: “We are at the inflection point for 3D printing. It has now moved from a new and much-hyped, but largely unproven, manufacturing process to a technology with the ability to produce real, innovative, complex and robust products.
“This is a fast-evolving market, but it is still in its infancy. Expect to see new major entrants making a significant impact in the industry in the coming years, including giants such as HP. As barriers fall, new use cases emerge, the technology improves and new entrants join, this is a market that will look very different in five years’ time.”
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business