3D printing is expected to be a $1.88 billion industry by 2022, more than doubling in size from last year, according to a new report.
Growing use in the health care industry, and in particular a growing interest in the use of bioprinting in organ transplants, is a major factor driving the growth, according to the report by MarketsandMarkets.
North America and Europe hold the largest share of the market, the report said.
Organ transplant experts have said there is enormous promise in bioprinting for solving organ shortages, but have strongly cautioned that the industry is developing slowly, and major organs being 3D printed isn’t likely to be feasible in the immediate future.
Doctors in Northern Ireland, however, reported in January of this year that they were able to use a 3D model of a donor kidney to plan and rehearse a kidney transplant that was particularly complicated, pointing to another medical use for 3D printing short of actually making usable organs. Prosthetic manufacturers are also keenly interested in the promise of the technology.
Also this week, 3D printing technology company HP announced it is expanding with a new 3D printing center in Foshan, China. Automotive, consumer goods and motorcycle manufacturers, however, not medicine, will be the primary markets, according to a recent story in 3D Printing Industry.