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The top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market

Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list with several key new entries each reflecting a specific technological approach

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The top 10 companies in the polymer AM market are primarily hardware manufacturers, each holding a leadership (and often pioneering) position in a specific polymer AM technology (or an important new evolution of a specific technology). Most of these companies also generate revenues as first-party, and sometimes third-party, material providers or as AM service providers. This is one of the key findings from VoxelMatters’ recently released market study on the over 800 companies that make up the global Polymer AM market.

Due to the confidential nature of VoxelMatters’ survey process, we cannot disclose the specific revenue figures we have in our database unless they are already public. As of 2022, according to our data, Stratasys remains the overall core polymer AM market leader in terms of overall generated revenues, including polymer-related hardware, materials, and services businesses. 3D Systems and EOS (hardware and materials only) are close runners-up.

Among the newer players entering the market, 3D printer manufacturers HP, Carbon, and Formlabs have emerged as the most relevant overall in terms of revenues, each representing a different tech segment. Other companies in the top 10 include Materialise, the largest AM service company, and the only company in the top 10 that does not manufacture and sell hardware. Chinese consumer/prosumer-grade 3D printer manufacturer Creality and industrial-grade SLS/SLS hardware manufacturer Kings 3D Printing were the two largest companies in China by revenue. Additionally, European (Czech Republic-based) prosumer-grade 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research also made the list.

The top 10 players by revenues 2022

 

Top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market: Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list reflecting different technological approaches
Stratasys’ Polyjet range

1.  Stratasys and FDM/material jetting

With yearly revenues of around $650 million in 2022, Stratasys is currently the leader in the 3D printing market. Stratasys founder Scott Crump invented FDM technology over 30 years ago. Among various mergers and acquisitions, the most significant was the one in 2012 with Israeli company Objet, which was founded in 1998 by Rami Bonen, Gershon Miller, and Hanan Gothait around its Polyjet material jetting technology. Today, Stratasys offers a range of 3D printers across multiple technological categories. Stratasys also provides polymer 3D printing services through its Stratasys Direct Manufacturing division. As a materials company, even before acquiring the Covestro AM materials business in 2023, Stratasys was a major AM material supplier, being the leading provider of first-party materials for its material jetting systems (with the Vero and Tango photopolymer resin product lines) and with filaments for its extrusion systems.

Top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market: Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list reflecting different technological approaches
3D Systems’ newest SLA 750.

2.  3D Systems and SLA/SLS (+F4, MJP)

The second-largest player in the AM industry is 3D Systems, with yearly revenues of around $500 million in 2022. Since it sold the first SL-1 system in 1988, 3D Systems has been the technological and market leader of the laser stereolithography (SLA) segment and one of the overall leaders in the global AM industry. The company’s focus is on industrial machines primarily used for industrial parts, tooling, investment casting, and dental applications. Over the years, 3D Systems company has added numerous other technologies to its portfolio. Some of the most successful were developed internally, including MJP (material jetting) and Figure 4 (high-speed DLP). Others, such as SLS, binder jetting (of gypsum and ceramics), LFAM, and other types of filament extrusion, were obtained through acquisitions. 3D Systems is also a major material supplier, both as a first-party provider of 3D printing materials and as a third-party provider of dental resins via its acquisition of Next Dent in 2017.

Top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market: Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list reflecting different technological approaches3.  EOS and SLS

Founded by Dr. Hans J. Langer and Dr. Hans Steinbichler, EOS is a privately held company and according to VoxelMatters’ data, it is the third-largest polymer AM company by revenue in the AM industry. In 1993, EOS introduced Europe’s first SLS solution and soon became the market leader for SLS technology, a position it maintains today, offering several market-leading industrial SLS hardware solutions. The Polymer systems include long-standing top sellers such as the FORMIGA P 110, EOS P 396 and EOS P 770 as well as newer and more automated models such as the INTEGRA P 450 and EOS P 500. EOS also generates a significant portion of its revenues as a major supplier of thermoplastic powders for SLS as a first-party provider. The company’s range of materials includes various types of nylon and nylon composites (GF/CF), polypropylene, elastomers, and PEKK (based on Arkema’s PEKK). In 2009, EOS acquired Advanced Laser Materials (ALM), a Texas-based developer and manufacturer of materials for SLS.

Top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market: Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list reflecting different technological approaches4.  HP and MJF

Most of the other leading players in the polymer AM industry are also privately held companies or part of larger groups. HP 3D Printing is present as the fourth-largest player via the sale of hardware solutions (including complementary workflow machinery) and materials based on internally developed Material Jet Fusion technology, a thermal powder bed fusion process that ensures very high productivity. Launched in 2016, MJF technology has become the go-to solution for AM service providers and adopters looking to scale production with applications. The latest innovations in HP’s extensive 3D polymer portfolio include the HP Jet Fusion 5600 Series and the HP Jet Fusion 5000 Solution, launched at Formnext 2023. HP’s new 5600 Series offers greater repeatability, reliability, and customization to help reduce development and validation costs. Customers including Prototal and Protolabs are already producing parts using the new solution. The HP 5000 Solution is designed to lower the entry barrier for Multi Jet Fusion technology adoption, catering to new customers looking to assess production volume as well as R&D organizations, and small industrial or healthcare businesses currently outsourcing final part production.

5.  Formlabs and professional SLA/SLS

Formlabs, a Boston-based startup founded by MIT graduates, was the first to introduce a sufficiently reliable low-cost prosumer SLA system to the market. Priced below $5,000, Formlabs’ Form 1, Form 2, and eventually the Form 3 series 3D printers have provided a viable low-cost solution in many industrial segments, such as dental and jewelry, as well as tooling and prototyping across various sectors. The company has sold more units than any other SLA 3D printer manufacturer to date. In 2021, Formlabs entered the SLS segment with a low-cost solution, the Fuse1/Fuse1+ (priced around $15,000) to replicate its success in the SLA segment. Formlabs also generates significant revenues via resin and powder material sales.

Top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market: Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list reflecting different technological approaches6.  Carbon and high-speed DLP

Silicon Valley-based Carbon was the first company to commercialize a high-speed photopolymerization system successfully and is the current segment leader. Carbon was co-founded by Joseph DeSimone, a university professor who is one of the few individuals to have been elected to all three branches of the US National Academies. Before Carbon, speed was not a significant concern for DLP technology because the photopolymer resins used were not durable enough to produce final parts. DeSimone had the insight to mix durable thermosets such as polyurethane with enough photopolymerizable material to enable the curing reaction. With these materials, it became feasible to accelerate the process. Although Carbon took a significant lead in this area, many other similar systems are now available in the global market.

7.  Creality and consumer FFF

With the ultra-successful Ender series of 3D printers, Creality became the leading manufacturer of entry-level filament extrusion systems worldwide. Founded in 2014, the company grew rapidly from a four-person workshop to over 550 employees. Besides extrusion systems, Creality also markets DLP/SLA light-curing printers, 3D scanners, 3D viewers, and 3D printing filaments. Chinese companies such as Creality (but also Anycubic or Flashforge) have risen to dominate the consumer segment (below $1,000), selling millions of units. In 2023, another rising Chinese company, Bambu Lab, released a consumer series of machines and appears to be capturing significant market share from competing Chinese manufacturers, positioning itself as the potential global leader in the prosumer and consumer segments.

Top 10 companies in the Polymer AM market: Stratasys, 3D Systems and EOS lead an exclusive list reflecting different technological approaches
The Materialise production floor.

8.  Materialise

AM service bureau Materialise is the only company present among the top 10 that is not a hardware manufacturer (although the company did develop its own SLA system, the Mammoth, for internal production use). Founded in 1990 by former CEO Fried Vancraen (who recently stepped down, with new CEO Brigitte de Vet-Veithen appointed to the role), Materialise represents the typical application-agnostic AM service provider with two main divisions split between medical and industrial applications. Materialise went public in 2014 and now generates yearly revenues of about $250 million. A large part of this is related to the company’s AM-specific software, including Materialise Magics and several other programs used in various aspects of the 3D printing production workflow.

9.  Prusa Research and prosumer FFF

Prusa Research, one of the earliest RepRap projects ever to emerge (along with MakerBot and Ultimaker), has become a leading brand in the lower-end prosumer/higher-end consumer segments. The company has stuck to its open-source policy over the years, building a very large audience of dedicated fans, while also ensuring the machine’s quality and reliability to reach many professional and industrial users. Prusa Research reported it had sold over 130,000 machines as of 2019. The company also generates significant revenues as a first-party supplier of filament materials. Since 2021, the Chinese company Bambu Lab has emerged, offering a very fast and reliable series of machines priced below $2,000, and it is quickly gaining market share from similarly priced products in the prosumer segment (mainly UltiMaker and Prusa Research).

10.  Kings 3D Printing and Chinese-made SLA/SLS/LFAM

Founded in 2007, Shenzhen Kings 3D Printing Technology Co., Ltd. has become the 3D printing leader in the domestic Chinese market and has recently begun to establish its presence beyond China’s borders, venturing into the Middle East and Europe. The company is primarily a manufacturer of industrial SLA 3D printers, running the largest R&D and manufacturing base for SLA 3D printing machines and printing materials in Southern China, and also operating as one of the largest customized 3D printing service centers in all of China, with thousands of customers. More recently, the company has expanded into offering industrial SLS systems (and services) and pellet-based LFAM (FGF) systems(and services).

Research
Composites AM 2024

This new market study from VoxelMatters provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the three core segments of the composites additive manufacturing market: hardware, materials and services. The ...

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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