3D Printing Software Markets 2016: A Ten-Year Opportunity Analysis and Forecast

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Date: 12-Oct-2016
No. of pages: 0

The 3D printing industry has been riding a historic growth wave since 2012, but today in 2016 the landscape for opportunities is continuing to evolve. With significantly increased competitiveness causing fluctuations in the hardware market, printer OEMs and third party developers are now collaborating to develop 3D printing software as one of the biggest future opportunities to continue to push towards industrialization of additive manufacturing. Historically, the software workflow for 3D printing has not seen the same development attention as hardware or materials -but this is clearly changing today. Global software giants like Autodesk, Siemens, and Adobe are now turning significant focus to streamlining the current workflow software chain, while printer OEMs seek to partner with firms to create more efficient software ecosystems to gain competitive advantage. Seasoned third party developers such as Materialise are increasingly being faced with competition from newcomers, and the lines between critical software functionalities in the 3D printing chain are beginning to blur.

In this report, the first ever of its kind, SmarTech explores the opportunities in development of 3D printing software tools ranging the entire 3D printing process from design to workflow and beyond. By defining the critical software functionalities of 3D printing in various contexts, this study segments the 3D printing software and 3D scanning software markets in a way that industry stakeholders can use to attack the next generation of software development opportunities.

The report also features for the first time an entirely purpose-built 3D printing software market forecasting methodology, allowing for an unprecedented level of market forecast data specific to 3D printing and scanning software opportunities. Included in the report's forecasts are:


  • Ten year forecasts of revenue opportunities for 3D printing and scanning software by tool category, as defined by the study, from 2015 to 2026

  • Revenue opportunity data cuts by key adopting industries from automotive, to medical, aerospace, and many more

  • Estimates and forecasted site-based opportunities for 3D printing software sales sold on site-based license structure by industry

  • Pricing trends, printer installation data, and much more


Among the latest identified trends at work in the 3D printing software market analyzed in this report include:


  • The continued integration of 3D printing specific feature sets directly in CAD software platforms in order to bring more direct 'design-to-print' functionality

  • Overlapping of feature sets in various 3D printer OEM software packages in efforts to create seamless workflow in one user interface by bringing elements of print preparation, build processing, and production management features into one software tool

  • New startups and efforts to develop software tool specific to the challenge of metal additive manufacturing including software for predictive modeling for stress in parts, post processing considerations, and more

  • The effect of distributed print environments featuring diverse print technologies and being brought on by increased access to printers through low cost hardware

  • Considerations for developing application-specific 3D printing software tools to unlock the potential for 3D printing for manufacturing


This report is the only study in the history of the industry to tackle the complex topic of 3D printing software and its evolving opportunities, and should be considered critical for industry stakeholders developing printing hardware and new software tools.

3D Printing Software Markets 2016: A Ten-Year Opportunity Analysis and Forecast

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Segmenting and Defining 3D Printing Software Markets
1.1 Software Tool Development as an Industrialization Strategy for Additive Manufacturing
1.2 Analyzing 3D Printing Use Patterns to Define the Market for Software Tools
1.2.1 High Value End-Use Manufacturing Workflow Pattern and Role of Workflow Management
1.2.2 Professional Rapid Prototyping Workflow Pattern
1.2.3 Private Entity Rapid Prototyping Workflow Pattern
1.2.4 Application Specific Workflow Pattern
1.2.5 Differentiating Between Two Primary 3D Printing Software Elements – Workflow Tools versus Design Tools
1.3 Integration of 3D Scanning Applications and Their Role in 3D Printing and 3D Printing Software
1.3.1 3D Scanners Versus Medical Imaging
1.4 Trailing Twelve Month 3D Print Software Market Review
1.4.1 Printer OEMs Developing Tightly Integrated, Machine Specific Print Preparation Tools
1.4.2 CAD Leaders Seeking to Build Out ‘Direct to 3D Print’ Features as a Competitive Advantage
1.4.3 Third-Party Developers Emerging in Metal AM Software, Materialise Continuing to Evolve Existing Market Leading Products
1.5 Reviewing Requirements for 3D Printing in Key 3D Printing Markets and Outlook for Software ToolsZ

Chapter Two: Exploring the Market for 3D Printing Workflow Software: Products and Trends
2.1 Opportunities for 3D Printing Software Development in the Age of Distributed Printing
2.2 3D Modeling and Design Software
2.2.1 Evolution of CAD Tools for Inclusion of 3D Printing Workflow and Design Optimization Elements
2.2.2 CAD Moving to Cloud-Based Platforms Enables Potential 3D Printing Integrations
2.3 3D Scanning and Related Software Products for 3D Printing
2.3.1 Reverse Engineering
2.3.2 3D Inspection
2.3.3 Examination of 3D Scanning Software Functionality and Process Chain
2.4 Optimization Software – Lattices, Topology, and Generative Design
2.4.1 Topology Optimization and Enabling Design for Additive Manufacturing
2.4.2 Lattice Structure Generation Software and Optimization of Mass and Performance
2.4.3 Hybrid Optimization Software for Metal Additive Manufacturing Using Computational Analysis
2.4.4 Broader Challenges with Optimization Tools in the Total 3D Printing Process Chain
2.5 Basic Workflow Software – Build Processing and Build Preparation Tools
2.5.1 Third-Party Build Processors as a Value Add Opportunity
2.5.2 Understanding Opportunities for Basic 3D Printing Workflow Software
2.5.3 An Emerging Software Tool Category: Manufacturer Specific 3D Printing Workflow Integration Tools
2.6 Advanced Workflow Software – Application Specific Tools and Production Management
2.6.1 Application-Specific Software Tools Set to Build on Success in Key Industries
2.6.2 Strategies and Trends for Development of Application- Specific 3D Printing Workflow Tools
2.6.3 Expertise in Industrial Production Management Tools for 3D Printing Monopolized, Significant Activity in Lower-End Products
2.7 Summarizing Use of 3D Printing Workflow Software by Industry
2.8 Key Points from This Chapter

Chapter Three: Key 3D Printing Workflow Software Products and Leading Suppliers
3.1 Key Build Processing and Build Preparation Products
3.1.1 Magics (Materialise)
3.1.2 netfabb (Autodesk)
3.1.3 QuantAM (Renishaw)
3.1.4 3DXpert (3D Systems)
3.1.5 GrabCAD Print (Stratasys)
3.2 Key Application-Specific Tools
3.2.1 Application-Specific Tools for the Dental Industry
3.2.2 Application-Specific Tools for the Medical Industry
3.2.3 Other CAM Software and Industry Tools with Potential for the Aerospace Industry
3.2.4 Other Industries and Adaptations of CAM Software for 3D Printing Workflow
3.3 Key Production Management Software
3.3.1 Streamics (Materialise)
3.3.2 Spark (Autodesk)
3.3.3 3DPrinterOS (3D Control Systems)
3.4 Other Notable 3D Printing and Scanning Software Tools
3.4.1 Geomagic Design X (3D Systems)
3.4.2 Leios (Enhanced Geometry Solutions)
3.4.3 Trimble RealWorks
3.4.4 Artec Studio
3.5 Analysis of Major Suppliers of 3D Printing Software 68
3.5.1 Autodesk
3.5.2 Materialise
3.5.3 3D Systems
3.5.4 Adobe

Chapter Four: Market Sizing and Growth Projections
4.1 Forecasting Methodology Discussion
4.2 Market Opportunities by Software Type
4.2.1 Global Revenue by Software Product Category
4.2.2 Pricing Trends:  Spend Analysis by Software Tool
4.3 Market Opportunities by Industry
4.3.1 Aerospace Opportunity Analysis
4.3.2 Automotive Opportunity Analysis
4.3.3 Dental Opportunity Analysis
4.3.4 Medical Opportunity Analysis
4.3.5 Service Bureau Opportunity Analysis
4.3.6 Consumer Products Opportunity Analysis
4.3.7 Other Industries Opportunity Analysis
4.4 3D Scanning Software Opportunity Analysis and Other Workflow Tool Market Metrics
4.4.1 3D Scanning Software Opportunity Analysis
4.4.2 Advanced versus Basic Workflow Software Opportunity
About SmarTech Publishing
About the Analyst
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report

List of Exhibits

Exhibit 1-1: High Value End-Use Manufacturing Workflow Pattern Visualization
Exhibit 1-2: Professional Rapid Prototyping Workflow Pattern Visualization
Exhibit 1-3: Private Entity Rapid Prototyping Workflow Pattern Visualization
Exhibit 1-4: Application Specific Workflow Pattern Visualization
Exhibit 1-5: Convergence of Design and Workflow Software for 3D Printing
Exhibit 1-6: Summary of Critical Software Opportunity Factors by Industry Segment
Exhibit 1-7: Summary of 3D Printing Workflow Software Market Opportunities
Exhibit 2-1: 3D Scanning Software Functionality Map
Exhibit 2-2: Build Processing and Preparation Software Relationship and Development
Exhibit 2-3: Summary of 3D Printing Software Opportunities by Software Category
Exhibit 3-1: Streamics Functionality Diagram
Exhibit 4-1: Total Projected Revenue of 3D Printing Software, by Software Category (including processing software), 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-2: Total Projected Revenue of 3D Printing Software, by Software Category (excluding processing software), 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-3: Average Spend Analysis for 3D Printing Software Tools, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-4: Total Projected 3D Printing Software Revenue, All Software Categories (including processing software), by Industry, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-5: Total Projected 3D Printing Software Revenue, All Software Categories (excluding processing software), by Industry, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-6: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Aerospace, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-7: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Automotive, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-8: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Dentistry, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-9: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Medical, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-10: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Service Bureaus, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-11: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Consumer Products, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-12: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Other Industries, by Software Category, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-13: Total Combined 3D Scanning Revenues, by Software Tool Category, All Industries, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-14: Total Combined 3D Scanning Revenues, by Industry, 2015-2026
Exhibit 4-15: Total Global 3D Printing Workflow Software Value, All Industries, by Workflow Categorization, 2015-2026

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