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IDC forecasts double-digit growth for the 3D scanner market as new use cases emerge

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In its first forecast of the 3D scanner market, International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that worldwide 3D scanner shipments will grow to more than 273 million units in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.0% over the 2018-2022 forecast period. Total market value is expected to reach $1.74 billion in 2022 with a five-year CAGR of 11.5%.

Since the development of 3D scanners, the market has been largely focused on a few industries and use cases. Oil refineries and related plants are one of the largest clients for these products on an industrial level to keep track of geographical shifts. Manufacturing, particularly the auto industry, has used 3D scanning as a means of determining quality control and inventory management. And the construction industry has used 3D scanners to survey and model building sites.

As prices have come down over the past ten years, the market for 3D scanners has begun to expand. Starting with ocular and dental use cases, the medical field has been exploring the use of 3D scanners for a variety of applications. The real estate industry now uses 3D scanners to help create virtual house tours for prospective buyers while the construction industry has expanded its use cases to include installation work and conservation of heritage sites. Finally, the entertainment industry has turned to 3D scanning to model objects, environments, and even people for use in computer generated imagery (CGI) for movies, video games, and augmented and virtual reality.

“The fragmented and concentrated nature of the 3D scanning market kept the market from expanding in the past. Within the past decade, continued interest in various vertical industries and similar factors leading to the growth of the 3D printer market are starting to push the market toward more mainstream applications. Our forecast looks at the main influences that push this market forward, and what we expect will lead to future developments,” said Max Pepper, research analyst, Imaging, Printing, Document Solutions.

For the purposes of this forecast, a 3D scanner is a metrological device that can optically identify, analyze, collect, and display geometric shapes or three-dimensional environments within a digital environment using computer-aided modeling. Optical 3D scanners use a variety of technologies, including structured light (both “blue light” and “white light”), laser triangulation, time of flight, phase shift, stereoscopic, infrared laser, and photogrammetry. IDC’s definition does not include contact scanners.

The 3D scanner market can be segmented into two sub-markets for handheld and stationary configurations. Handheld 3D scanning devices have a handle and are meant to be physically moved around an object to scan while being held. Stationary 3D scanners are those devices that do not fit the definition of a “handheld” device and includes shoulder- and cart-mounted devices as well as scanners attached to robotic arms.

In 2017, stationary scanners represented 57% of worldwide 3D scanner shipments with the remaining 43% belonging to handheld scanners. By 2022, IDC expects shipments of handheld scanners will grow to 45% of the overall market. This is largely due to the growth in the <$5,000 price band where handheld units are more popular and improvements in handheld technology among professional and industrial-focused products. In terms of market value, higher-priced stationary 3D scanners are expected to maintain their 89% share of overall market value throughout the forecast.

The IDC report, Worldwide 3D Scanner Forecast, 2018-2022 (IDC #US44518318), covers scanner shipments and hardware revenue for the 2018-2022 forecast period. The data is split between handheld and stationary configurations, with stationary including cart-mounted and shoulder-mounted models. Data is also split by price band (<$5,000, $5,001-$50,000, and $50,000+).

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn.

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