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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.