SmarTech Publishing: 3D Printing of Electronic Devices to Generate Over $420M in 2022

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SmarTech Publishing has just published a new 124-page report that identifies and quantifies the commercial opportunities presented by 3D printing of electronic components and related circuitry. According to this report, Opportunities for 3D Printing in the Electronics Industry - 2016, this activity will generate $428 Million in revenues by 2022 and go on to achieve $2.8 Billion in revenues by 2025.

SmarTech Publishing is seeing growing interest in using 3D printing to fabricate customized circuitry, sensors and antennas, with longer-term applications possible for other types of electronic components. While the current focus is on prototyping, there is also clearly an opportunity to use 3DP for electronic devices that are regularly produced in relatively low volumes -- high speed optoelectronics and military/aerospace electronics are good examples here. In the consumer electronics space there is also a high potential 3D printers both for product design and for mass customization of products such as cell phone cases. 

This report examines the revenue potential of 3D printed electronics, examining both actual fabrication and notable R&D at leading universities and research institutions. It provides coverage of five key sectors of the emerging 3D printed electronics business: multilayer PCB prototyping, prototyping of other components, low-volume manufacturing of electronic parts, consumer electronics design and mass customization of consumer electronics. 

Ten-year volume and value forecasts are provided for each of these sectors with breakouts by type of printers, material chemistries, and service revenues. These forecasts also provide insight into the number of electronic parts that will be 3D printed over the coming decade. Today much of the limelight in 3D printed electronics is going to prototyping of multilayer PCBs, but the report also considers the market potential for both prototyping and direct manufacturing of antennas, interconnects, sensors, optoelectronic, devices, etc. 

Opportunities for 3D Printing in the Electronics Industry - 2016, also takes a look at the product/market and manufacturing strategies of the firms that are now pursuing the 3D-printed electronics opportunity. We include profiles of Beta Layout, BotFactory, Cartesian Co., Ceradrop, Chemcubed, Nano Dimension, Nascent Objects, Neotech AMT, nScrypt, Optomec, Pulse Electronics, PV NanoCell, Voltera and Voxel8. Other firms discussed in the report include ALA Software Solutions, Autodesk, Beta Layout, Ceradrop, Direct Color Systems, EnvisionTEC, EOS, Flextronics, Israel Aerospace Industries, Lite-On Mobile Mechanical, LPKF Laser, MGI Group, and Northrop Grumman. 

From the Report: 

The initial market driver for 3D-printed electronics is to enable multilayer PCB prototyping without the costs and delays associated with service bureau. However, we anticipate that traditional prototyping shops, 3D service bureau and retail mass customization booths will quickly adopt 3D printed electronics. By 2022, service revenues from 3D printing will have reached well over $300 million. Specialist 3D printing service bureaus already exist in the aerospace and medical sectors and there is no good reason why such bureaus should not be created in the 3D-printed electronics space. 

Much of the activity in the 3D printed electronics space for the next few years will be occasional-use prototyping, so revenues from the use of inks and powders for this sector is not expected to be large. For example, in 2022, we anticipate that revenues from materials for 3D printed electronics will be around $65 million. However, once 3D printers start to be used extensively to make low-volume electronic and optical components revenues will leap, reaching almost $300 million by 2024. There will also be a growing range of materials available for 3D printing electronics parts. While much of the activity today involves nanosilver inks, new 3D printed materials will emerge including nickel, semiconductor and optical inks. 

The current excitement over printing of electronics devices has been driven by the appearance of a handful of firms that are offering specialist 3D electronics printer, sold with a number of semi-proprietary materials. Often these packages are aimed at those who want to prototype multilayer PCBs. For now, the established 3D printer firms have bigger fish to fry. However, over the next few years, we expect that the major 3D printing OEMs - Stratasys or HP, say -- will start to address electronics industry applications. Potentially, there are genuinely revolutionary leaps forward in which 3DP and nanomanufacturing capabilities are combined enabling 3D printing to occur at very high resolutions making (say) 3D memory chips a possibility for 3D printing. 

About SmarTech Publishing: 

Since 2013 SmarTech Publishing ( has published reports on all the important revenue opportunities in the 3D printing/additive manufacturing sector and is considered the leading industry analyst firm providing coverage of this sector. 

Our company has a client roster that includes the largest 3D printer firms, materials firms and investors. We have also published reports on most of the important revenue opportunities in the 3D printing sector including personal printers, low-volume manufacturing, 3D printing materials, medical/dental applications, aerospace, automotive, and other promising 3D market segments.



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