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Hype Cycle for 3D Printing, 2016: From the Trigger to the Mainstream (almost)

by Pete Basiliere  |  July 27, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

The market for enterprise and consumer 3D printers continues to expand with an explosion in the number of new vendors, services, products and uses. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for 3D Printing, 2016 provides an overview of the 3D printing landscape and puts it into technology, industry and process context for you.

My colleague Mike Shanler and I, with the support of another 15 analysts worldwide, just published the report. Our Hype Cycle for 3D Printing has expanded from 16 profiles in 2014 (our first report) and 21 last year to 37 technology and service profiles. The expanded Hype Cycle report demonstrates not only the breadth of the market but also the depth of Gartner’s nine years of 3D print market coverage.

An increase in the number of end user and technology provider client inquiries on 3D printing convinced us to create the additional profiles. As a result, this year we added technology profiles analyzing:

  • The seven core printing technologies: Binder jetting, directed-energy deposition, material extrusion, material jetting, powder bed fusion, sheet lamination and stereolithography.
  • Industry-specific 3DP technologies: Aerospace and defense, automotive and pharmaceutical manufacturing, consumer wearables, and electronic fabrication.
  • Technology-driven processes and techniques: 3D printing workflow software, 4D printing, augmented manufacturing for supply chain and nanoscale printing.

The only technology profile removed from the Hype Cycle was “Industrial 3D Printing” — the “industrial” description was more of a market segmentation description and is no longer separately characterized. The content was merged with “Enterprise 3D Printing.”

“3D Bioprinting Systems for Organ Transplant” was rewritten to give greater clarity and definition as “3D Bioprinted Organ Transplants,” which is more medical-focused. A second profile, “3D Bioprinted Human Tissue,” was created to capture the supplemental tissue technologies and market.

The 3D printing industry continues to see growth, innovation and a myriad of new players. The technology profiles included in the Hype Cycle represent areas where Gartner analysts see value and disruption — and opportunity. To learn more, our 73 page Hype Cycle for 3D Printing, 2016 is available on

Additional Resources

Category: 3d-printing  technology-and-emerging-trends  

Tags: 3-d-print  3d-bioprinted-human-tissue  3d-bioprinted-organ-transplants  3d-bioprinting-for-life-science-rd  3d-print  3d-print-creation-software  3d-print-service-bureaus  3d-print-aided-hipknee-implants  3d-print-enabled-augmented-manufacturing  3d-printed-drugs  3d-printed-electronics-and-fabrication  3d-printed-wearables  3d-printer  3d-printing-for-prototyping  3d-printing-in-aerospace-and-defense  3d-printing-in-automotive  3d-printing-in-manufacturing-operations  3d-printing-in-oil-and-gass  3d-printing-in-supply-chain  3d-printing-of-dental-devices  3d-printing-of-hearing-devices  3d-printing-of-medical-devices  3d-printing-of-personal-consumable-products  3d-printing-service-bureaus  3d-printing-workflow-software  3d-scanners  4d-printing  additive-manufacturing  augmented-manufacturing  binder-jett  binder-jetting  bioprinter  bioprinting  classroom-3d-printing  consumer-3d-printing  cool-vendor  directed-energy-deposition  enterprise-3d-printing  hype-cycle  intellectual-property-protection  macro-3d-printing  maker  makers  material-extrusion  material-jetting  multi-jet-fusion  nanoscale-3dp  powder-bed-fusion  retail-3d-printing  sheet-lamination  stereolithography  

Pete Basiliere
Research Vice President
12 years at Gartner
18 years IT Industry

Mr. Basiliere provides research-based insights on 3D printing and digital printing hardware, software and materials. Mr. Basiliere's Maverick research coined the term Generation AI, people born after 2010 who will not know a world without application intelligence in their lives. Read Full Bio

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