Spending on 3D printing in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market is set to increase from $0.47 billion in 2015 to reach $1.3 billion by 2019, according to the latest forecasts from International Data Corporation (IDC). The research firm's new Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide shows that the spending in the region will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8% over the 2015/2019 period, outperforming the worldwide growth rate of 26.9%.
IDC expects this high rate of growth to have a transformative effect on how previously mass-produced goods are manufactured, with 3D printing enabling such products to be customised for individual requirements. While the world's emerging markets, in general, will represent a clear growth opportunity, IDC expects the Asia-Pacific region to contribute most to near-term growth, as China – in particular – becomes a leading market for 3D printing hardware and services. Nevertheless, MEA will maintain its position as a frontrunner in this space, and its share of global 3D printing spend is expected to grow from 4.3% in 2014 to 5.0% by 2019.
"It is clear that 3D printing offers considerable growth potential in the Middle East and Africa region," says Martin Kuban, a senior research analyst with IDC Manufacturing Insights. "The technology will dynamically proliferate across multiple manufacturing industries over the coming years, and we are already seeing significant interest from manufacturers in the GCC countries looking to utilise 3D printing technology. Aside from some of the more obvious applications within the automotive and aerospace industries, we expect to see some innovative and potentially transformative 3D printing deployments among medical suppliers, electronics manufacturers, and tools and components manufacturers."
IDC's 3D printing research indicates that the MEA 3D printer market is ready for greater mainstream adoption. And the technologies that enable 3D printing are continuing to develop at a rapid pace and expand in nearly every direction, creating an incredibly broad range of use cases in industries such as healthcare, education, construction, and retail.
"We are also seeing increasing adoption among oil and gas companies in the Middle East as they look to enable the rapid prototyping of parts on their sites, which can often be found in extremely isolated locations," says Ashwin Venkatchari, IDC's senior programme manager for imaging devices and document solutions in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. "This limits downtime and reduces costs, which is particularly important in this current environment of low oil prices. But cost savings aren't the only drivers of 3D printing in the region; for example, the healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing users of technology, and the primary driver in this space is the ability of 3D printing to improve the lives of patients."
The Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide quantifies opportunities for 3D printers. Spending data is available for more than 20 use cases across 20 industries in eight regions. Data is also available for 3D printing hardware, materials, software, and services. The spending guide was designed to help IT decision makers clearly understand the industry-specific scope and direction of 3D printing expenditure over the next five years.