Opportunities for 3D Printing Software 2017: An Opportunity Analysis and Ten-Year Forecast

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Date: 23-Oct-2017
No. of pages: 0

Software in the 3D printing industry is often described as the 'glue' that holds together the ongoing advancements in both hardware and print materials, and as a result is becoming a significant development target for many of the world's largest 3D printing stakeholders. Today, the market for software products is in a state of significant flux and change, resulting from the juxtaposition created by end users of 3D printing technology further exploring direct manufacturing applications alongside traditional uses involving prototyping and tooling. Meanwhile, as the vision for additive manufacturing as a leading advanced digital manufacturing process having been set and adopted by major manufacturers worldwide, software elements required to enable that vision are now also being defined and developed.

In this report, the second in the first ever global report series to define and quantify the 3D printing software market, SmarTech expands its original vision and market analysis to include the key software tools which we believe will define additive manufacturing over the next two decades. New analysis includes trends and insights for software to support in-situ process monitoring of 3D printing, additive manufacturing process simulation tools, and more. Segmentation of the global software opportunity is further refined in this study to include software opportunities by print process, material family, and beyond.

SmarTech's leading market forecasts for defining and quantifying the 3D printing software market included in this report include:


  • Ten-year market forecasts for revenues generated by the sale of software to support 3D printing split by tool functionality, by end user market, by printing process, and by print material family through 2027

  • Ongoing estimates of overall 3D printing penetration and adoption from leading adopting industry segments for the sale of site-based software licenses for various 3D printing tools

  • Pricing trends for software supporting 3D printing, global printer installation forecast data, and much more


This report monitors and provides insight on ongoing trends in 3D printing software markets, including key areas which are creating the current market scenario, such as:


  • the drive from leading CADCAM tool providers worldwide to integrate more advanced 3D printing workflow and manufacturing-related functionalities resulting from increased demand to support AM initiatives from global manufacturers

  • efforts to produce a continuum of software-enabled quality assurance solutions for additive manufacturing, beginning with AM process simulation, and ultimately following through with in-situ process monitoring and post printed 3D inspection tools

  • strategic complications arising from the significantly differentiated workflows between prototyping and manufacturing applications for AM, and the resulting efforts by the broader community to address the software needs of customers leveraging printers in these different roles


This report remains 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.

Opportunities for 3D Printing Software 2017: An Opportunity Analysis and Ten-Year Forecast

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Evolving 3D Printing Software to Match Future Technical Roles for Additive Technologies     
1.1 Software Taking on a More Well-Defined Role in the Future of 3D Printing       
1.1.1 Development of Software as a Strategic Initiative for Printer Companies
1.1.2 Differentiated Workflows Necessitate Differentiated Software Capabilities      
1.2 Analyzing 3D Printing Use Patterns to Define the Market for Software Tools      
1.2.1 Workflow Considerations and Resulting Software Requirements and Trends for Additive Manufacturing       
1.2.2 Application Specific Software Tool Concept for Additive Manufacturing      
1.2.3 Workflow and Software Requirements for Prototyping and Modeling Using 3D Printing       
1.3 Consolidation of Software Functionalities to Simplify Workflows and Improve Efficiency      
1.4 Short-Term and Long-Term Market Dynamics Affecting the 3D Printing Software Market     
1.4.1 Software Functionalities to Support the Long-Term Vision of Additive Manufacturing
1.4.2 Software for Polymer versus Metals 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing   
1.4.3 Application-Specific Software Tools are a Long-Term Vision for the Future of 3D Printing Software
1.5 Trailing Twelve-Month 3D Print Software Market Review        
1.5.1 Drive for Better Outcomes in Additive Manufacturing Creating Huge Growth in Process Simulation and Monitoring Software     
1.5.2 Major CADCAM Players Leveraging Positions in Worldwide Manufacturing to Become Leaders in 3D Printing Software
1.5.3 Global Manufacturing Software Platforms Shifting to Subscription-Based Models       
1.6 Reviewing Requirements for 3D Printing in Key 3D Printing Markets and Outlook for Software Tools       

Chapter Two: Interfacing with and Further Defining the 3D Printing Software Industry
2.1 Understanding Software Market Opportunities in Greater Detail – Primary Opportunity Categories and Process-Specific Software     
2.1.1 Software for Printers Versus Software for Printing   
2.1.2 Software Market Stakeholder Profiles and Related Business Practices
2.1.3 Understanding the Nature of 3D Printing Processes for Software Development    
2.2 3D Modeling and Design Software
2.2.1 Creating “Additively Intelligent” Design Environments        
2.2.2 CAD Moving to Cloud-Based Platforms Enables Continued 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 Design Optimization Software – Lattices, Topology, and Generative Design
2.4.1 Topology Optimization’s Role in Enabling Design for Additive Manufacturing   
2.4.2 Integrated Topology Optimization and Lattice Functionalities Versus Standalone Products   
2.4.3 Broader Challenges in Topology Optimization May be Solved Through Integration with Simulation  
2.5 Foundational 3D Printing Workflow Software - Build Processing and Build Preparation Tools
2.5.1 Value Propositions for Third-Party Tools Versus OEM Tools
2.5.1.1 Third-Party Build Processors Help End Users with Complex Printer Environments  
2.5.1.2 Manufacturer-Specific Tools Create Complete Solutions        
2.5.2 Evolution of Print Preparation Software Packages into CAM Tools   
2.6 Advanced 3D Printing 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 Production Management Tools and Feature Sets for Advanced 3D Printing Workflow
2.7 Additive Process Simulation Software and Process Monitoring Software Tools        
2.7.1 Manufacturing Applications Driving Market Need for Process Simulation
2.7.2 Connecting Simulation, Process Monitoring, and 3D Inspection Software       
2.7.3 Current Efforts in Additive Process Simulation Tools
2.7.4 Current Efforts in Additive Process Monitoring Tools
2.8 Key Points from This Chapter       

Chapter Three: Key 3D Printing Workflow Software Products and Leading Suppliers    
3.1 Major CAD/CAM Platforms Supporting Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing  
3.1.1 Siemens NX
3.1.2 Dassault Systemes 3DEXPERIENCE Platform  
3.2 Key Build Processing and Build Preparation Products  
3.2.1 Magics (Materialise)
3.2.2 Netfabb (Autodesk)
3.2.3 QuantAM (Renishaw)       
3.2.4 3DXpert and 3DSprint (3D Systems)   
3.2.5 GrabCAD Print (Stratasys)
3.3 Market for Application-Specific Tools      
3.3.1 Application-Specific Tools for the Dental Industry    
3.3.2 Application-Specific Tools for the Medical Industry   
3.3.3 Other CAM Software and Industry Tools with Potential for the Aerospace Industry   
3.3.4 Other Industries and Adaptations of CAM Software for 3D Printing Workflow  
3.4 Key Production Management Software    
3.4.1 Streamics and Robot (Materialise)       
3.4.2 Authentise   
3.4.3 3DPrinterOS (3D Control Systems)
3.5 Tools for Topology Optimization and Lattice Generation Software for 3D Printing  
3.5.1 Autodesk Within Medical  
3.5.2 Frustum Generate (Siemens NX)
3.5.3 nTopology    
3.5.4 Dassault Systemes Tosca
3.5.5 solidThinking Inspire (Altair)     
3.5.6 Materialise 3-matic
3.6 3D Scanning, Reverse Engineering, and Inspection Software Supporting 3D Printing
3.6.1 Geomagic Design X (3D Systems)       
3.6.2 Leios (Enhanced Geometry Solutions)  
3.6.3 Trimble RealWorks
3.6.4 Artec Studio
3.7 Tools for Additive Process Simulation     
3.7.1 3DSIM
3.7.2 Simufact Additive (MSC Software)       
3.7.3 Amphyon     
3.7.4 ANSYS
3.8 Competitive Analysis of 3D Printing Software Market
3.8.1 Autodesk     
3.8.2 Materialise   
3.8.3 3D Systems
3.8.4 Adobe
3.8.5 Siemens      
3.8.6 Dassault Systemes

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 Functionality 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  
4.5 Market Opportunities for Software by Print Process and Material Families   
4.5.1 Software Opportunities for Specific 3D Printing Process Families      

List of Exhibits

Exhibit 1-1: Demonstration of Breadth for Total 3D Printing Process Chain for Manufacturing of End Use Parts   
Exhibit 1-2: Comparing and Contrasting Needs for Software in Prototyping Versus Manufacturing Applications       
Exhibit 1-3: Software Functionalities in Industrial Manufacturing Workflows for 3D Printing      
Exhibit 1-4: Optimized Software Functionalities in Industrial Manufacturing Workflows for 3D Printing      
Exhibit 1-5: Application-Specific Workflow Pattern Visualization        
Exhibit 1-6: Software Functionalities in Rapid Prototyping Workflows for 3D Printing
Exhibit 1-7: Convergence of Design and Workflow Software for 3D Printing  
Exhibit 1-8: Combined Projected AM/3DP Production Volumes by Part Function and Material Family, Aerospace and Automotive Industries, 2016-2026(e)
Exhibit 1-9: TrussFab Software Visualization as an Application-Specific 3D Printing Software Tool      
Exhibit 1-10: Projected Site-Based Penetration of AM/3DP Technologies in Manufacturing and Prototyping Locations, by Industry, 2014-2027(e) (Worldwide)  
Exhibit 1-11: Summary of 3D Printing Workflow Software Market Opportunities      
Exhibit 2-1: Projected Market Value Comparison for Software Opportunities: Printing versus Printers
Exhibit 2-2: 3D Printing Software Market Stakeholder Profiles and Business Relationships       
Exhibit 2-3: Summary of Benefits in 3D Printing Software Tools which Utilize Process-Specific Intelligence    
Exhibit 2-4: Illustration of Additively Intelligent Design Environments       
Exhibit 2-5: 3D Scanning Software Functionality Map       
Exhibit 2-6: Visualization of Contrasting Design Theory Based on Generative Design     
Exhibit 2-7: Visualization of Lattice Based Topology Optimization
Exhibit 2-8: Comparison of Key Strengths and Weaknesses to Current Types of Lattice Based Topology Optimization Software        
Exhibit 2-9: The Additive Manufacturing Build Software Environment
Exhibit 2-10: Total Aggregated AM Process Simulation Software Opportunities by Print Technology and Material Group
Exhibit 2-11: The AM Quality Assurance Continuum
Exhibit 3-1: Streamics Functionality Diagram
Exhibit 4-1: Total Projected Revenue of 3D Printing Software, by Software Category (including processing software), 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-2: Total Projected Revenue of 3D Printing Software, by Software Category (excluding processing software), 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-3: Average Spend Analysis for 3D Printing Software Tools,  2015-2027
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, 2015-2027      
Exhibit 4-8: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Dentistry, by Software Category, 2015-2027      
Exhibit 4-9: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Medical, by Software Category, 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-10: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Service Bureaus, by Software Category, 2015-2027  
Exhibit 4-11: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Consumer Products, by Software Category, 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-12: Total 3D Printing Software Revenue in Other Industries, by Software Category, 2015-2027        
Exhibit 4-13: Total Combined 3D Scanning Revenues, by Software Tool Category, All Industries, 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-14: Total Combined 3D Scanning Revenues, by Industry, 2015-2027      
Exhibit 4-15: Projected 3D Printing Software Revenues by Material Class Association, 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-16: Projected 3D Printing Software Revenues Supporting Polymer 3D Printing, by Tool Category, 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-17: Projected 3D Printing Software Revenues Supporting Metal 3D Printing, by Tool Category, 2015-2027        
Exhibit 4-18: Aggregated Projected Revenues for Relevant Software Packages by Print Process Family, 2015-2017  
Exhibit 4-19: Projected 3D Printing Software Revenue Opportunities in Build Processing Software, by Print Process, 2015-2027  
Exhibit 4-20: Projected 3D Printing Software Revenue Opportunities in In-Situ Processing Monitoring Software, by Print Process, 2015-2027
Exhibit 4-21: Projected 3D Printing Software Revenue Opportunities in AM Simulation Software, by Print Process, 2015-2027 

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