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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI5855
  • Pages :162
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Smart Technologies

The global digital fabrication market size is estimated to be valued at US$ 38.20 Bn in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 239.80 Bn by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% from 2023 to 2030. Digital fabrication encompasses various technologies such as 3D printing, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining, laser cutting, and computer-aided design (CAD). These technologies enable the production of custom-designed objects, prototypes, and components with high precision and efficiency.

Factors contributing to the growth of the digital fabrication market include advancements in additive manufacturing technologies, increased adoption in industries such as automotive, aerospace, healthcare, and consumer goods, and the growing demand for customized products.

Digital Fabrication Market Regional Insights

  • North America: North America dominates the digital fabrication market, holding the largest market share of 35% in 2023. The regional market benefits from a strong presence of leading manufacturers such as Stratasys, 3D Systems, and Autodesk. The U.S. government's substantial investments in research and development of digital fabrication technologies further contribute to the region's market growth.
  • Europe: Europe holds the third-largest market share of 20% in 2023 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16% from 2023 to 2030. The automotive, aerospace, and medical device industries in Europe are progressively embracing digital fabrication technologies. The European Commission's initiatives to encourage the adoption of digital fabrication in the manufacturing sector further fuel the market growth in the region.
  • Asia Pacific: The Asia Pacific region exhibits the highest growth rate in the digital fabrication market, with a projected CAGR of 18% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for customized products and parts in the region, as well as the growing adoption of digital fabrication technologies by SMEs. The governments of China and India actively promote the use of these technologies in the manufacturing sector, bolstering market expansion.

Figure 1. Global Digital Fabrication Market Share (%), by Region, 2023


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Analyst Viewpoint: The digital fabrication market is poised to grow significantly over the next five years. Major drivers for this growth include the expanding adoption of 3D printing across various industries for both prototyping and production applications. Additive manufacturing allows for high levels of customization and complex geometries not possible through traditional methods. The availability of new materials for 3D printing such as carbon fiber and new metal alloys is also expanding applications. However, high costs of entry with some 3D printers and materials could restrain adoption rates in the near future. Further, limited capabilities in terms of speed and size for mass production applications compared to traditional processes remain a challenge.

Digital Fabrication Market Drivers:

  • Technological Advancements: Continuous advancements in digital fabrication technologies, such as 3D printing, computer-aided design (CAD), robotics, and additive manufacturing, are driving the market growth. These advancements have resulted in improved precision, speed, and efficiency of fabrication processes, making digital fabrication more accessible and cost-effective for various industries.
  • Customization and Personalization: Digital fabrication enables customization and personalization of products and designs. With digital fabrication technologies, companies can easily create prototypes, one-off designs, and customized products to meet specific customer requirements. This capability has gained significant traction in industries such as healthcare, automotive, aerospace, and consumer goods.
  • Cost and Time Savings: Digital fabrication offers cost and time savings compared to traditional manufacturing methods. The ability to quickly produce prototypes and iterate designs reduces the development time and cost associated with traditional fabrication processes. Additionally, digital fabrication eliminates the need for complex tooling and reduces material waste, resulting in cost efficiency.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the costs of metal 3D printing fell by 23% from 2020 to 2021 as throughput increased. Similarly, a 2022 report from the European Parliament noted that the costs of polymer 3D printers declined by 18% from 2018 to 2020 as capabilities improved. As costs reduce, more use cases will prove economical for additive manufacturing and digital fabrication.

  • Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing: The concept of Industry 4.0, which focuses on the integration of digital technologies into manufacturing processes, is driving the adoption of digital fabrication. Digital fabrication technologies align with the principles of smart manufacturing by enabling automation, connectivity, and data-driven decision-making. This integration enhances efficiency, productivity, and flexibility in manufacturing operations.

Digital Fabrication Market Opportunities:

  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Digital fabrication technologies have the potential to level the playing field for SMEs. These technologies provide affordable and accessible manufacturing solutions, allowing smaller businesses to compete with larger counterparts. SMEs can utilize digital fabrication for rapid prototyping, customization, and small-batch production, enabling innovation and market responsiveness.

According to the World Bank in 2022, in emerging economies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute as much as 40% to the national income (GDP). When informal SMEs are taken into account, these figures notably increase.

  • Sustainability and Circular Economy: Digital fabrication aligns with the principles of sustainability and the circular economy. By reducing material waste, optimizing material usage, and enabling local production, digital fabrication contributes to a more sustainable manufacturing ecosystem. This presents opportunities for businesses to adopt environmentally friendly practices, reduce their carbon footprint, and meet the increasing demand for sustainable products and solutions.

According to the 2021 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, many major economies have formulated comprehensive policy roadmaps and set official targets to boost recycling and domestic material reuse. For example, the European Union has committed to increasing the recycling rate of plastic waste to 55% by 2030.

Digital Fabrication Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 38.20 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 30% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 239.80 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Technology Type: 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining, Laser Cutting and Engraving, Digital Embroidery, Waterjet Cutting, Others
  • By Material Type: Plastics, Metals, Ceramics, Composites, Others
  • By End-use Industry: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive, Healthcare, Architecture and Construction, Consumer Goods, Electronics, Education and Research, Others
  • By Application: Prototyping, Production Parts Manufacturing, Customization and Personalization, Tooling and Jigs, Art and Sculpture, Rapid Manufacturing, Others
  • By Size of Fabrication: Small-Scale Fabrication, Medium-Scale Fabrication, Large-Scale Fabrication
Companies covered:

Stratasys Ltd., 3D Systems Corporation, HP Inc., General Electric Company, Materialise NV, Proto Labs Inc., Voxeljet AG, ExOne Company, Autodesk Inc., Siemens AG, EOS GmbH, Renishaw plc, SLM Solutions Group AG, Carbon Inc., and Desktop Metal Inc.

Growth Drivers:
  • Technological Advancements
  • Customization and Personalization
  • Cost and Time Savings
  • Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing
Restraints & Challenges:
  • High Initial Investment Costs
  • Limited Material Options and Quality
  • Lack of Skilled Workforce

Digital Fabrication Market Trends:

  • Adoption of Additive Manufacturing: Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a key trend in digital fabrication. It enables the production of complex geometries, customization, and on-demand manufacturing. The technology is being increasingly adopted across various industries, including automotive, aerospace, healthcare, and consumer goods.

According to the World Economic Forum, additive manufacturing (AM) industrialization has progressed through different stages, yet it consistently maintains a steady average annual growth rate of 20%.

  • Hybrid Manufacturing Solutions: Hybrid manufacturing, which combines additive manufacturing with traditional subtractive processes like CNC machining, is gaining popularity. This approach leverages the strengths of both technologies, enabling the production of parts with enhanced precision, surface finish, and material properties. Hybrid manufacturing provides flexibility and expands the range of applications for digital fabrication. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in a 2021 survey of global manufacturing firms, approximately 60% indicated that the adoption of advanced technologies such as 3D printing and robotics will be essential for modernizing their operations in the upcoming five years.

Digital Fabrication Market Restraints:

  • High Initial Investment Costs: Implementing digital fabrication technologies often requires a substantial upfront investment in equipment, software, and training. The cost of acquiring and setting up additive manufacturing machines, CNC machines, and other digital fabrication tools can be prohibitive for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or businesses with limited budgets.

Counterbalance: Instead of purchasing equipment outright, consider leasing. This can spread the cost over a longer period and make it more manageable.

  • Limited Material Options and Quality: Although there have been advancements in materials for digital fabrication, the range of available materials and their quality may still be limited compared to traditional manufacturing methods. Some industries have stringent material requirements, and the availability of suitable materials for their specific applications may be a challenge.

Counterbalance: Limited material options and quality can be a challenge in the digital fabrication market. Companies can invest in research and development to discover new materials and improve the quality of existing ones. This could lead to the creation of more durable, efficient, and versatile materials for digital fabrication.

  • Lack of Skilled Workforce: The successful implementation and operation of digital fabrication technologies require skilled professionals with expertise in additive manufacturing, CAD/CAM software, robotics, and other relevant areas. However, there is a shortage of an adequately trained workforce, and recruiting and retaining skilled talent can be a challenge for businesses.

Counterbalance: Invest in training programs to upskill their existing workforce. This could be through on-the-job training, workshops, or online courses.

Recent Developments

Key Development

  • In June 2023, Stratasys, an American-Israeli manufacturer of 3D printers, software, announced the receipt of unsolicited proposal from 3D Systems. It was revealed that Stratasys had received an unsolicited, non-binding indicative proposal from 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD). The proposal suggests an acquisition offer of $7.50 in cash and 1.2507 newly issued shares of 3D Systems common stock for each ordinary share of Stratasys.
  • In October 2023, Icon Technologies Limited, a company engaged in thermoforming and rotational molding situated in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, acquired an EXT 1270 Titan Pellet 3D printer, according to the announcement by 3D Systems.
  • In September 2023, General Electric (GE) Vernova, a multinational U.S.-based corporation has pioneered the future of industry by unveiling an innovative carbon emissions management software powered by artificial intelligence (AI). A software solution for managing carbon emissions, is designed to assist energy companies in advancing towards their net-zero objectives through precise data and capabilities for abatement planning.

Key Strategic Initiatives

  • Desktop Metal acquires EnvisionTEC: In 2021, Desktop Metal, a provider of metal 3D printing solutions, acquired EnvisionTEC, a pioneer in digital light processing (DLP) and photopolymer-based 3D printing technologies. This acquisition expanded Desktop Metal's portfolio with EnvisionTEC's expertise in DLP and brought together a wide range of metal and photopolymer 3D printing technologies under one company.
  • Stratasys acquires Origin: In 2020, Stratasys acquired Origin, a startup specializing in photopolymer-based 3D printing. This acquisition expanded Stratasys' portfolio with Origin's programmable photopolymerization technology, enabling the production of end-use parts with enhanced accuracy, consistency, and throughput.
  • HP acquires Dyndrite: In 2020, HP, a technology company known for its 3D printing solutions, acquired Dyndrite, a software company focused on developing advanced additive manufacturing software. This acquisition allowed HP to leverage Dyndrite's powerful software platform to enhance its 3D printing capabilities and deliver more efficient and optimized workflows.

Figure 2. Global Digital Fabrication Market Share (%), by Technology Type, 2023


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Top companies in Digital Fabrication Market

  • Stratasys Ltd.
  • 3D Systems Corporation
  • HP Inc.
  • General Electric Company
  • Materialise NV
  • Proto Labs, Inc.
  • Voxeljet AG
  • ExOne Company
  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Siemens AG
  • EOS GmbH
  • Renishaw plc
  • SLM Solutions Group AG
  • Carbon, Inc.
  • Desktop Metal, Inc.

Definition: Digital fabrication refers to the process of utilizing computer-controlled machines and technologies to transform digital designs into physical objects. It encompasses various techniques such as 3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, and robotic assembly. By combining software, hardware, and materials, digital fabrication enables the efficient and precise production of complex and customized products, prototypes, and parts. It revolutionizes traditional manufacturing methods by offering greater flexibility, scalability, and the ability to rapidly iterate designs, leading to enhanced productivity, cost-effectiveness, and innovation across industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

The key factors hampering growth of the digital fabrication market include high initial investment costs, limited material options and quality, and a lack of skilled workforce.

The major factors driving the digital fabrication market growth include technological advancements, customization and personalization of products, cost and time savings, and Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing initiatives.

3D printing/ Additive manufacturing is one of the leading component segments in the digital fabrication market.

Major players operating in the digital fabrication market include Stratasys Ltd., 3D Systems Corporation, HP Inc., General Electric Company, Materialise NV, Proto Labs, Inc., Voxeljet AG, ExOne Company, Autodesk, Inc., Siemens AG, EOS GmbH, Renishaw plc, SLM Solutions Group AG, Carbon, Inc., and Desktop Metal, Inc.

North America currently holds the largest market share in the digital fabrication market, but the Asia Pacific region is expected to exhibit the highest growth rate.

The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of the digital fabrication market is projected to be 30% from 2023 to 2030.

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