More than 2,000 companies in the European Union and the US have created and sold 3D printers in the past five years, according to new data.
More than 5,000 firms in the world, including Apple, Google and Facebook, have also created and used 3D printables.
According to the data, Ireland has been a key beneficiary of 3D-printed products, which the country exported to the US for the first time in 2016, with an estimated value of more than $4 billion.
Its export figures for the year to June 2016 were released by the Irish government on Thursday.
Dublin is home to the world’s largest commercial market for 3D printed homes.
The country exported 3,000 3D prints to the United States, with a value of $2.6 billion.
In total, Ireland exported $8.6 million worth of 3d printers to the USA.
More: 3D printer maker Ikea has become a key supplier of 3-D printing products to the Irish economy, with the firm exporting 3,500 3D kits to the country in the previous three years.
Dubbed the Ikea of the European economy, the company has exported over $9 billion worth of products to Ireland since it opened its doors in 2012.
Ikea also has a presence in Europe, including in Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.
Its latest 3D kit exports to Ireland are worth more than the combined export value of Apple, Apple’s main rival in the market, and Google.
The company has also been a huge source of revenue for the Irish Government, which in 2016 spent more than €1 billion on export purchases from the company.”3D printers are an important part of our economy and we are proud of their contribution to our exports and to the economy as a whole,” said Irish Minister for Industry Brendan Howlin.
“It’s clear that this new trend will benefit the Irish people in the long-term, and I’m pleased to see that the Government is now making the most of this technology to create jobs and to create wealth for the future.”
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