3D printer shipments up 106% in 2016

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3D printer shipments grew by 106 percent last year in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, a market intelligence firm said on Thursday.

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“Governments in this region are relishing the potential of 3D printing in transforming nations to be more competitive…,” IDC analyst Mun Chun Lim said in a report on Thursday.

China led the region with 3D printer shipments of 170,000 units, significantly higher than the estimated 77,000 units shipped in 2015.

A little over two-thirds of the shipments were for the education sector but the IDC analyst noted that 3D printing was also gaining ground in the dental and tooling industries.

“The dental industry is going through a digital revolution with digital dentistry set to take over the traditional process,” Lim said.

The tooling sector, meanwhile, is seeing growing demand the automotive and consumer appliances industries.

“3D printing is no longer just a prototyping machine. Companies are evaluating how 3D printing could transform the traditional workflow in organizations,” Lim said.

“Companies are starting to relish the benefits of 3D printing in direct part production. We will see a leaner supply chain soon as 3D printing technology becomes mainstream.”

IDC forecast that 3D printing spending in the region would reach $4.3 billion in 2019.

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