One of the fastest-growing segments of the manufacturing industry is rapid prototyping and small-batch manufacturing. Fueled by technological advancements in CNC manufacturing, 3D printing, and material science, unique parts can be crafted and delivered within ever-shortening time frames, closing down idle time in manufacturing cycles, and enabling manufacturers to move product development along faster.
The global prototype manufacturing industry is currently valued at around $12 billion but is experiencing rapid growth at over 22.6% percent annually from 2010 to 2015.
The prototype manufacturing industry is expected to reach $20 billion in valuation by 2020. Forecasts for the next 15 to 20 years predict growth up to the $40 billion mark, as continued technological innovation fuels the industry — and the markets that rely on it.
Related industries are also experiencing strong, continuous growth, with the 3D printing industry, one technology that has revolutionized rapid prototyping in its own right, predicted to reach an almost $33 billion valuation by 2023.
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