3D printing hype overdone, says Nomura's Kim

|By:, SA News Editor

"We think recent market optimism about the 'Third Industrial Revolution' potential of 3D printing is overdone, given uncertain growth potential in the consumer market, limited pragmatic applications, and a lack of mass-production ability," says Nomura's James Kim.

"We do not expect 3D printing to garner a meaningful share of the global manufacturing industry in the near term, with the total market size of 3D printing, as per Wohlers Associates, estimated to grow to $6B by 2017 (from $2B last year), largely falling short of the conventional manufacturing space ($93B)."

Nevertheless, big players with consumable businesses like Stratasys (SSYS) and 3D Systems (DDD) and pure raw materials supplies could be long-term beneficiaries of 3D printing development, says Kim.

Also mentioned is ExOne (XONE) for its binder jetting technology currently employed by Ford to create part prototypes, and Organovo (ONVO) for 3D bioprinting technology to create functional human tissue.

On the 3D printing software side, Dassault (DASTY), Autodesk (ADSK), ANSYS (ANSS), and PTC (PMTC) get a mention, while Proto Labs (PRLB) is noted in services.