Report: 3D printing a massively disruptive technology with huge economic impact by 2025

In their new report, Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy, research firm McKinsey Global Institute identifies twelve disruptive technologies that will significantly impact the global economy by 2025. One of those technologies is 3D printing.

Of the market applications they have “sized,” they estimate that 3D printing will generate a direct economic impact of $230 to $500 billion per year by 2025. This is an estimate of annual value, including consumer surplus, not an estimate of potential revenue, market size, or GDP impact.

The research firm believes that in the year 2025 the majority of parts and products will still be manufactured with traditional technologies such as injection molding, but they do see that the molds themselves will be 3D printed to the tune of $20 to $50 billion annually.

For less volume than mass production, they see 3D printing used as a common approach for complex, low-volume highly customizable parts that will have an economic impact of $100 to $200 billion annually. This represents 30 to 50 percent of the addressable market.

On the consumer front, McKinsey believes that most, if not all, consumers will have access to 3D printing, with their own printer or via a service. The global sales of products in the consumer category that are 3D printed could reach $4 trillion per year.

These are some big numbers, but not surprising to us.

mckinsey 3D printing report 2025

They have devoted 20 pages of their 162 page report to 3D printing, and it’s worth taking a read. In fact, the entire report is worth reading. What are the other 11 disruptive technologies? Mobile internet, automation of knowledge work, the Internet of things, cloud technology, advanced robotics, autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles, next-generation genomics, energy storage, advanced materials, advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery, and renewable energy.

The good news is that McKinsey is giving their report away free of charge. Just go to their page here and download either the Executive Summary or full report.

Source: McKinsey Global Institute