The global 3D-printing market will be worth approximately $7 billion by 2025, at least $3 billion of which will come from bioprinting, according to a report from business research firm IDTechEx. Applications of 3D Printing 2014-2024 posits that traditional applications such as prototyping will continue to grow but will be overshadowed in many ways by a variety of emerging applications.
Noting that the majority of 3D-printing applications are still embryonic in terms of development, the report predicts that fading hype surrounding consumer printers will be replaced by successive waves of applications moving out of R&D, with each one receiving its proverbial 15 minutes of fame. "This cycle will continue for at least another 10 years, as a long list of applications are rolled out commercially one after another," says the report. Look for 3D-printed critical components in commercial airliners, fully printed rocket engines, animal-rights-friendly bioprinted human tissues for drug toxicity and cosmetics testing and, ultimately, 3D-printed electronics to grab headlines. The figure below from IDTechEx shows the current status of existing and emerging 3D-printing applications along what the company calls a "hype curve."