4D Printing Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis, By Fabrication Technique (Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), and Others) Input Material (Programmable Bio Material, Programmable Carbon Fiber, and Others) End Use Industry (Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, and Others), By Region, Forecast Period 2023 – 2030. (Updated Version Available)

Report ID - MRC_1550 | Pages - 217 | Category - Next Generation Technologies

Key Market Overview:

4D printing Market Size market size is expected to reach U.S.D 2,716.3 Million by 2030 from the value of U.S.D 127.3 Million in 2021 and register CAGR of 40.5% during the forecast period (2023-2030).

4D printing, also known as 4D fabrication, is a type of 3D printing technique that includes the additional dimension of time. 4D printed objects are designed to change shape or function when exposed to external stimuli such as temperature, humidity, or light. Shape shifting capabilities are achieved by using smart materials such as shape memory alloys, shape memory polymers. In addition, electroactive polymers and Self-healing polymers that change shape when exposed to certain condition. Smart materials are incorporated into the print process, which gives the printed object ability to alter their shapes.

4D printing technologies play a crucial role in the defense sector. 4D printing technologies are used to create adaptive coatings for vehicles and self-assembling structures for quick deployment in war. For instance, the U.S. army research office granted   U.S.D 8,50,000 for developing 4D printing technologies. Defense sector is one of the largest consumers for 4D printed materials. Militaries operate in multiple terrains with different physical conditions. 4D printed materials are capable of changing physical attributes according to external environment thus, have crucial applications in defense sector.

Market Dynamics:


  • Applications in medical industry

One of the most crucial applications of 4D printing is in developing stents (small tubes planted into arteries to keep them open). Moreover, with 4D printing, stents can be produced in small sizes that can expand upon exposure to internal stimuli in the body. Enabling larger stents to be implanted via small incisions. Moreover, 4D printing is also used to develop artificial organs that are capable of changing physical attributes according to external stimuli.

  • Applications in smart clothing and footwear:-

4D printing technologies have crucial applications in developing self-healing clothing. Manufacturers are using smart martials including shape memory polymers (SMP) to produce smart cloths that could self-repair ones they are damaged. For instance, the U.S. military is testing smart uniforms that automatically changes its color in accordance with its environment. Resulting into exceptional camouflage capabilities.

  •   Applications in aerospace :-  

4D printing technologies are being used to develop aircrafts that are capable of changing the shape of wings in accordance with external air pressure. Moreover, 4D printed technologies also assist in self-heling from inflight damages.


The main restraint faced by this market is limited availability of 3D printing machines print at industrial scale. Generally, the 3D printing process is very time consuming and scaling it to the industrial level is currently very difficult and economically unsustainable. Another major restraint is limited number of smart materials. Smart materials are capable of changing physical attributes when exposed to external stimuli. Smart materials are most crucial inputs for 4D printing. However, limited number and availability of smart materials acts as a restraining factor. Moreover, the capital expenditure or initial investment into research and development of newer smart material is very high. These restraints are the major factors hindering the market growth.

4D printing Market:

Report Attributes Report Details
Study Timeline 2016-2030
Market Size in 2030 (U.S.D Million)  2,716.3 Million
CAGR (2023-2030) 40.5%
By Fabrication Technique  (Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Stereolithography (SLA), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Binder Jetting (BJ), and Others.
By Application Programmable Bio Material, Programmable Carbon Fiber, Custom Printed Wood Grain, Programmable Wood, and Programmable Textile.
By End Use Industry Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Construction, Clothing, Healthcare, Utility, and Others
By Geography North America, Europe ,Asia Pacific

Latin America, Middle East and Africa

Key Players Carbon Inc., Stratasys Ltd., Aleph Objects, Inc., Optomec Inc., Voxeljet AG, EOS Gmbh, Materialise NV, Nano Dimension, Ultimaker BV, Exone Gmbh, Formlabs Inc., Koninklijke DSM N.V., SLM Solutions Group AG, Arcam AB, Concept Laser Gmbh

Market Segmentation:

By Input Material: –

On the basis of input material 4D printing market is further divided into programmable bio material, programmable carbon fiber, custom printed wood grain, programmable wood, and programmable textile. In the segment the largest market share in terms of revenue is captured by programmable carbon fiber. The main reason for wide adoptability of programmable carbon fiber in 4D printing is its mechanical attributes such as, high level of stiffness and tensile strength. The aforementioned type of material is mostly used in aerospace industry. High tensile strength with low weight makes it suitable for designing 4D components for aerospace vehicles. One of the most crucial applications of carbon fiber material is in achieving morphing wing. Morphing is ability of an aircraft wing to change its shape in order to adapt different flight conditions. Morphing improves the aerodynamic performance of the wings and increase their efficiency significantly. For instance, In the year 2021, researchers at Harvard University (U.S.) developed a new microscale 4D printing technology. The technology uses liquid crystal elastomer ink to fabricate 4D printed shape shifting objects.

The programmable textile segment is estimated to showcase considerable growth in the forecasted period. The military & defense sector is the largest investor into research and developing of 4D printed smart clothing. The sector is also estimated to be largest consumer of smart textiles for color changing camouflage uniforms and self-healing textiles.

By Fabrication Technique:-

The fabrication technique segment is divided into selective laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM), stereolithography (SLA), fused deposition modelling (FDM), binder jetting (BJ), and Others. In the proposed segment the largest market share is captured by fused deposition modelling (FDM) technique. The key reason for widespread adoption of this FDM is its affordability and simplicity. Fused deposition modelling (FDM) technique is least complex among other fabrication techniques making it popular among small scale enterprises.

Moreover, the stereolithography is fastest growing segment. In this technique solid material block is chipped layer by layer with the help of UV Lasers. The stereolithography printing method is most accurate and precise among other listed techniques. Due to high level of accuracy and precision stereolithography technology is majorly employed for manufacturing objects that requires high level of precision such as objects for defense and medical applications.

By End Use Industry:-

By end use industry this segment is divided into aerospace, defense, automotive, construction, clothing, healthcare, utility, and others. The largest market share in this segment is currently captured by the Aerospace sector. Approximately 40% of the total 4D printed products are consumed by aerospace industry making it the most dominating sector.

The defense sector is estimated to showcase substantial market growth over the forecasted period. Large investments by major armies including U.S., Russia, China, and others around the globe are raising the demand for smart textiles is estimated to be the key factor for the demand of 4D printing technology from this sector.

By Region

The regional segment is divided into North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. North America region held dominating market share in the year 2022. Large military spendings and presence of large number of end-user industries are the main factors fueling the demand for 4D printing technologies in North American region. The U.S. has largest military budget in the world making it largest consumer and developer military equipment. Moreover, a large number of leading military equipment manufacturers are based in this region. Additionally, North American region is also at forefront leading the research and development of 4D technology.

The Asia pacific region is estimated to grow at considerable rate over the forecasted period. Applications into automotive industry are estimated to be the major factor propelling the demand for 4D printing technologies in forthcoming years. Furthermore, developments in medical industry are also expected to fuel the markets growth in Asia Pacific region.

4D printing Market Competitive Landscape:

The competitive landscape of the 4D printing industry comprises detailed profiling of key players functioning in this market.  Major corporations have been analyzed specifically in the report to emphasize the lucrative opportunities for market growth. Further this report contains company overviews, production capacity, SWOT analysis, financial data, revenues, market potential, global presence, production sites, with product application.

Following are some of the major players in this market:-

Carbon Inc.

Stratasys Ltd.

Aleph Objects, Inc.

Optomec Inc.

Voxeljet AG


Materialise NV

Nano Dimension

Ultimaker BV

ExOne GmbH

Formlabs Inc.

Koninklijke DSM N.V.

SLM Solutions Group AG

Arcam AB

Concept Laser Gm


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4D Printing Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis, By Fabrication Technique (Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), and Others) Input Material (Programmable Bio Material, Programmable Carbon Fiber, and Others) End Use Industry (Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, and Others), By Region, Forecast Period 2023 – 2030. (Updated Version Available)
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