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4D Printing Market

Market Study on 4D Printing: Reflection of Robust Growth on the Way as the Military Seek Outfits with Adjustable Camouflage!

4D Printing Market by Material (Programmable Carbon Fiber and Programmable Textile), Programmable Carbon Fiber Market segment is anticipated to showcase a CAGR of 22.9% in the forecast period.

4D Printing Market Outlook (2022 to 2032)

The global 4D printing market is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 23.0% in the forecast period between 2022 and 2032. It is likely to reach US$ 1.2 billion by 2032 from US$ 148.5 million recorded in 2022.

The process that enables printed items to self-transform over time is referred to as 4D printing technology. It is sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing technology, which enables manipulation and nanoscale programming during the production process to ultimately develop objects with environment-adaptive designs.

A variety of elements, including magnetism, pressure, heat, and air can cause the printed object to change shape. It represents a development in 3D printing technology, which is made possible by the use of intelligent software and materials in 3D printers. Consequently, it is a revolutionary technology that is almost ready for the market.

At present, fabrication of parts and components, as well as production of equipment and weapons, is being made simple by the adoption of 4D printing technology by the defense industry. Equipment that adapts in terms of shape or qualities to the environment is likely to assist armies get the upper hand when combat conditions alter.

Expenditures in 4D printed weaponry are expected to increase significantly in the next ten years in order to get this tactical edge. The USA Army Research Center, for instance, is developing new technologies such as a soldier's clothing that can change its own camouflage while traveling through various climates.

Their clothing can also effectively defend against harmful chemicals. The global market for 4D printing is predicted to expand at a rapid pace over the forecast period due to this promising development in the defense industry.

Military 4D printing is predicted to develop as a result of factors such as rising product demand, increased military technological expenditure, and spurring use of lightweight components. However, complicated design in the hardware and software sectors and lack of process standardization are a few factors that may limit market expansion. Industry 4.0 and industry 5.0 development and improvement of technology are predicted to present profitable chances for expansion of the global market.

4D Printing Market Size (2021)

US$ 114.0 million

Estimated Market Size (2022)

US$ 148.5 million

Projected Market Valuation

US$ 1.2 billion

Value-based CAGR (2022 to 2032)


USA Value-based CAGR (2022 to 2032)


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2017 to 2021 4D Printing Market Outlook Compared to Demand Forecast from 2022 to 2032

As per Persistence Market Research, the global 4D printing market is estimated to exhibit considerable growth at a CAGR of 23.0% from 2022 to 2032. It showcased astonishing growth at a CAGR of 30.6% during the historical period from 2017 to 2021.

The health sector has been at the forefront of incorporating 4D printing technology such as flexible organs and customizable medical products & equipment in recent years. Demand for customized medical equipment has increased significantly from 2017 to 2021. It is expected to surge significantly between 2022 and 2032.

Apart from the healthcare sector, 4D printing technology is expected to gain immense popularity in the automotive, manufacturing, education, and entertainment industries. Ongoing advancements in the field of bio-fabrication is another crucial factor that is anticipated to push 4D printing demand by 2032.

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Which Factors are Responsible for Escalating 4D Printing Products Demand Globally?

Key factors that are increasing demand for 4D printing products are rising use of drones and uniforms which can be camouflaged according to needs of the defense sector. Requirement of medical equipment such as flexible organs and advanced drugs in the healthcare sector would also drive demand.

Due to their ability to change over time, single shape memory polymers (SMPs) are used in 4D printing. Recent developments in 3D printing have made it possible to put materials more precisely and flexibly, which has considerably aided 4D printing.

In reaction to outside stimuli, these materials have the ability to self-assemble and self-heal, which makes them extremely useful, as well as more beneficial than conventional products. Materials used in 4D printing can change their shapes and colors in response to UV and visible light, which has led to its increasing demand. Switched mode power supply (SMPs) and liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are widely used in 4D printing.

There is a high demand for 4D printed products among solar cells and antennae manufacturers. These are also extensively used in space-related activities. Research in nanotechnology has led to an increasing demand for 4D printed products.

4D bio-printing is yet another branch of 4D printing which has contributed significantly to the market. 4D printing involves additive manufacturing and it has helped in spurring demand in the global 4D printing market.

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Which Factors are Restraining 4D Printing Products Sales?

Mechanical properties of materials used in 4D printing such as density and tensile strength, as well as excessive time taken for processing may hinder sales. Despite these, 4D printing technology has a wider application than the conventional process.

4D printing is generally a time-intensive process which is dependent on other processes. Mechanical properties of the material need to be modified in order to get the desired product, which makes it more vulnerable.

The viscosity of 4D printing is quite low in contrast to 3D printing. They become less stable as the environment's temperature changes. Smart material loading of the printer head in 4D printing equipment is also difficult.

4D manufactured parts are less durable than 3D printed ones. They are unable to produce integrated pieces with complex structures or curved surfaces. Hence, 3D printing has been developed to counteract these detrimental effects.

The manufacturing process is often impacted by hydrogels, which are necessary for the 4D printing process. Procurement of hydrogels, as well as other raw materials required for the process is quite difficult, thereby restraining growth in the market. As a result, mechanical qualities of materials, source of raw materials, and processing time may all significantly hinder market expansion.

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Country-wise Insights

Why is 4D Printing Gaining Immense Popularity across the USA?

The USA 4D printing market is expected to reach a valuation of US$ 385.6 million by 2032. The country witnessed a CAGR of 28.8% in the historical period and is set to showcase 21.7% CAGR in the estimated period.

Manufacturing as a service is a wise strategy, firms in the USA have learned as additive manufacturing technology continues to advance quickly. Industry 5.0's potential to make personalized products at relatively low costs, with less energy use, and with reduced material waste is what additive manufacturing will be able to do in the next ten years.

4-D printing will be promoted by industry 5.0 since it will assist in focusing on the design process rather than on the manufacturing process. Independence of design will further result in the development of more custom and unique products across the USA.

Will the United Kingdom Witness Considerable Sales of 4D Printing Components?

The United Kingdom 4D printing industry is estimated to be worth US$ 59.4 million and create an absolute dollar opportunity of US$ 51.3 million by 2032. The United Kingdom is anticipated to exhibit growth at a CAGR of 22.1% from 2022 to 2032. It witnessed a 29.2% CAGR from 2017 to 2021.

During the review period, the United Kingdom 4D printing industry would be greatly aided by efforts to reduce processing and manufacturing costs. It is blamed on the country's fierce competition.

4D technology, which is based on three-dimensional printing technology, proposes a new business model to address varied market needs. It has the power to increase an organization's efficiency while lowering the requirement for inventory, capital, and time-to-market.

How are 4D Printing Equipment Providers Faring in China?

China 4D printing sector is predicted to create an absolute dollar opportunity of US$ 90.1 million in the assessment period. It is set to reach US$ 101.8 million valuations by 2032. A CAGR of 24.2% is expected for the country in the forecast period from 32.4% CAGR recorded between 2017 and 2021.

The potential of 4D printed items to alter on their own enables them to employ scarce resources as they react to outside stimuli. It makes disposal easy after use and helps to maintain a sustainable ecosystem.

China market expansion in the next ten years is primarily being driven by growing emphasis on maintaining a sustainable environment. These techniques are nowadays being used by businesses to create durable products. 4D printed products would require less money for production, handling, and shipment, which would save resources and labor, as well as protect the environment.

Will Japan Exhibit High Demand for 4D Printing Tools?

Japan 4D printing market is likely to be valued at US$ 86.0 million by 2032. It is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of around 22.4% in the forecast period from 29.7% CAGR showcased in the historical period. An incremental opportunity of US$ 74.6 million is expected for the country by 2032.

Market expansion in Japan is anticipated to be fueled by technological developments and increasing focus on the creation of new products. These factors are likely to create profitable prospects for top players in this sector. However, it is estimated that market expansion over the forecast period may be hampered in Japan amid high initial cost.

Why is 4D Printing Demand Skyrocketing in South Korea?

South Korea 4D printing industry is expected to reach a valuation of US$ 48.0 million by 2032. It is likely to exhibit a CAGR of 23.5% from 2022 to 2032. The country is projected to create an incremental opportunity of around US$ 42.2 million in the forecast period.

To aid soldiers in a variety of combat tasks and activities, the military and defense sector of South Korea have been implementing innovative printing technologies. Due to improved performance of military equipment, including trucks, tanks, machinery, and firearms, necessity of 4D printers in the South Korea defense industry is anticipated to expand.

Category-wise Insights

Which is the Most Preferred Material for Making 4D Printing Equipment?

Based on material, the programmable carbon fiber segment is anticipated to exhibit high growth in the next ten years. It has several applications in the medical sector, as well as in the aerospace and defense sector.

It is generally used as a raw material for the production of important health equipment. The programmable carbon fiber segment is anticipated to showcase a CAGR of 22.9% in the forecast period. It exhibited a CAGR of 30.3% in the historical period between 2017 and 2021.

Which End User is set to Extensively Use 4D Printing Technology?

The most widely used application of 4D printing is in the aerospace and defense industry. Expansion of the aerospace and defense industry can be connected to increasing need for customized equipment. As per Persistence Market Research, CAGR of the aerospace and defense industry was around 30.0% from 2017 to 2021. It is likely to surge by 22.8% from 2022 to 2032.

Aerospace and defense sector underwent a significant transformation as a result of the debut of 4D printing. Military outfits with adjustable camouflage or enhanced gas protection could be one of the most intriguing uses for 4D printing.

Automatic air conditioning deployment, engine cooling, and other related applications are made possible with the use of 4D printing technology. Military 4D printing is predicted to develop as a result of rising military technology spending and increasing use of lightweight components.

Development of the military 4D printing industry is further anticipated to present profitable prospects due to technical improvements. Rising demand for industry 4.0 standards and emergence of industry 5.0 would also help to spur the segment.

Competitive Landscape

Prominent market competitors are constantly devising novel strategies to deliver high-quality goods. They are also focusing on patenting their technologies and creations, as well as broadening their product portfolios. Key players are always working to boost their market share in 4D printing, where they now have a modest stake.

A few recent developments in the 4D printing market are:

  • In December 2022, a new automated color 3D printing workflow utilizing 3Shape's Dental System software and the Stratasys J5 DentaJet 3D printer was introduced by Stratasys Ltd. and 3Shape. After importing the data, users of Stratasys' 3D printer can manufacture highly accurate, customized, full-color dental models by using 4D printing.
  • In November 2020, to boost productivity and develop serial additive manufacturing, Materialise announced the launch of its 3D printing solutions and initiatives. With the help of numerous new capabilities included in the new version of Materialise Magics, customers may expand their 3D printing operations, as well as 4D operations by speeding up the build preparation process.

Scope of the Report



Estimated Market Size (2022)

US$ 148.5 million

Projected Market Valuation (2032)

US$ 1.2 billion

Value-based CAGR (2022 to 2032)


Forecast Period

2022 to 2032

Historical Data Available for

2017 to 2021

Market Analysis

Value (US$ million)

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Middle East & Africa

Key Countries Covered

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Nordic
  • Russia
  • Poland
  • China
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Gulf Cooperation Council Countries
  • North Africa
  • South Africa
  • Others

Key Segments Covered

  • Material
  • End User
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Autodesk Inc.
  • Stratasys Ltd.
  • Dassault Systems SE
  • Materialise NV
  • Organovo Holdings Inc.
  • ExOne Co.
  • 3D Systems Corporation
  • ANSYS Inc.
  • SLM Solutions Group AG
  • Hewlett-Packard Company

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

4D Printing Market Outlook by Category

By Material

  • Programmable Carbon Fiber
  • Programmable Textile
  • Programmable Wood-Custom Printed Wood Grain

By End User

  • Health
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa

- Companies Covered in This Report -

  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Stratasys Ltd.
  • ExOne Co.
  • Hewlett Packard Corp.
  • 3D Systems Corporation
  • Materialise NV
  • Organovo Holdings, Inc.
  • Dassault Systèmes SA

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The global 4D printing industry is set to be worth more than US$ 148.5 million by 2022.

The 4D printing industry is projected to increase at a CAGR of around 23.0% from 2022 to  2032.

The 4D printing industry increased at a CAGR of around 30.6% between 2017 and 2021.

Rising need to improve operational efficiency and streamline processes is likely to drive 4D printing demand worldwide.

The 4D printing industry in China is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of around 24.2% from 2022 to 2032.

Sales of 4D printing components in the USA are projected to increase at a CAGR of around 21.7% during the estimated time frame.

South Korea and Japan 4D printing markets are expected to surge at 23.5% and 22.4% CAGRs, respectively in the next ten years.

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