The growth of 3D printers is set to continue at quite some pace, according to new research from analysts.
Researchers at the International Data Corp. [IDC] have revealed that they expect 3D printer shipments to grow ten times before we reach 2017 as the technology and interest develops even further.
The experts have predicted that businesses will play a key role in the growth, with many companies looking to use 3D printing regularly in various applications - moving the print technology beyond those early adopters and hobbyists that currently dominate its usage.
Not only that, but print manufacturers are also keen to take advantage of the emerging market, with Konica Minolta ready to sign a US agreement to distribute the leading 3D printers and Hewlett-Packard preparing to enter the market this year.
In a statement regarding the growth of 3D printing in the market, Keith Kmetz, vice president of imaging, printing and document solutions at IDC said: "Print is extending beyond output on media to the creation of an actual object, and that presents incredible opportunity.
"While traditional print technologies are facing maturity, 3D printers will see worldwide unit shipments grow by 10 times over the forecast period, and worldwide hardware value will more than double in the short term."
As well as general manufacturing applications, the IDC have reported that 3D printing is set for a huge rise in other industries, including automotive, medical, aerospace, education, aerospace and medical.