News > Press Releases

A New Dimension: Three Quarters of 3D Printer Owners Report High Daily and Weekly Usage, Finds New CEA Study

Arlington, VA – October 23, 2014 – 
According to a study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, three quarters of 3D printer owners (76 percent) report using their 3D printers daily or several times a week. The new report, Eye on Emerging Technology: 3D Printing, examines the global market for consumer 3D printers and focuses specifically on consumer awareness and perceptions, price sensitivity and potential applications.
“3D printing is an emerging technology that has the potential to change the world,” said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, CEA. “As 3D printers evolve with new inputs, features and lower prices, they could transform the consumer landscape – much like MP3 players impacted the music industry.”
3D Printing Market Overview
According to CEA’s U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast, 3D printers will bring in $76 million in total revenue in 2014 in the U.S. (up 44 percent over last year) and earn $121 million worldwide this year.
CEA predicts the devices will see double-digit growth in U.S. unit shipments through 2018, generating $175 million in total revenue. CEA estimates a compound annual growth rate of up to 37.1 percent through 2018.
“Strong 3D printer growth will be driven by increasing consumer demand, technological development and higher levels of competition,” said Koenig. “Revenue from sales is unlikely to grow as quickly as unit sales, though, as increased competition and market segmentation are likely to cause a drop in prices – a win for the consumer.”
Consumer Awareness and Usage
Almost a quarter of online U.S. adults (23 percent) report being familiar with the technology. Additionally, half (51 percent) say they’re unfamiliar with 3D printing technology.
Among those who own a 3D printer, three quarters (76 percent) report using their 3D printers daily or several times per week. Only 18 percent of 3D printer owners report using their 3D printer once a week, and seven percent use it one or two times a month.
“We expect consumer familiarity with 3D printers to grow as more and more large retailers begin to carry the devices,” said Koenig. “This is great for retailers as it creates an ‘attraction’ for consumers to come see 3D printers in action in the store.”
3D Printer Applications
According to CEA’s report, consumers are most interested in using 3D printers to create items such as household goods (52 percent), smartphone cases (51 percent), jewelry (49 percent), clothing (48 percent) and toys (45 percent). 

The Eye on Emerging Technology: 3D Printing was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete report is available at no cost to CEA member companies at Non-members may purchase the report in the CEA Store.
CEA’s 3D Printing Working Group represents the industry on issues such as consumer education and promotion, policy advocacy, standards setting, energy use and interoperability issues. For more information on how to get involved, contact Alicia McGrail.
At the 2015 International CES, the 3D Printing Marketplace will double in size in it’s second year, featuring more than 30 innovative companies showcasing the latest advancements in 3D printing technology. Learn more.
About the Consumer Technology Assocation


The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at, and through social media.