3D printing to be a $20 billion global industry by 2019

New data suggests the 3D printing market isn't dwindling away any time soon.

(Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

3D printing could become a $20 billion industry by the end of the decade, new figures suggest.

Data from research firm Canalys show the market, including 3D printers, and associated materials and services, will generate about $5.2 billion this year, and become a double-digit billion dollar market by mid-2016.

"We have seen improving print speeds, a wider range of materials and new forms of additive manufacturing methods," said Joe Kempton, Canalys research analyst. He pointed to an increase in vendors from Asia, which are taking on dominant existing markets, such as Germany and the US.

The 3D printing revolution is expected to continue to upend the traditional manufacturing market as it allows people to print real-life products and part replacements from their home or office.

But it's also having a remarkable effect on manufacturing, automotive, medical, and other vertical industries, which are finding new revenue streams in the 3D printing market.

Companies such as General Electric, Boeing, and BMW have already invested millions of dollars into the up-and-coming technology.