IDC Forecasts Double-Digit Growth for the 3D Scanner Market
In its first forecast of the 3D scanner market, IDC projects that worldwide shipments will grow to more than 273,000 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 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 under $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.