If there was any doubt on how hot the 3D printing market is right now, sales are expected to reach $8.41 billion by 2020, according to a recent report by research company MarketsandMarkets.

That is a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent.

Much of that growth will come as the use of 3D printing continues to increase in both the aerospace and healthcare industries, Rahul Ganjau, a MarketandMarkets spokesman, said.

"You are going to see phenomenal growth," Ganjau said. "Aerospace and health care are expected to grow exponentially."

The Americas currently hold the largest revenue share, followed by Europe in 3D printer machines, materials, and related services.

Europe is expected to surpass the Americas in terms of the 3D printing market revenue by 2020.

However, the Asia/Pacific market is the fastest growing and most promising market for 3D printing due to high industrial growth, technological awareness, supportive government policies, and financial investment by the governments in research and development.

"Governments in Europe and the Asia/Pacific are investing heavily in research and development," Ganjau said.

Advances in technologies, government funding, the ability to create highly customized products, rapid development of cheap products and short to-market times are all behind the rapid growth in general.

Wide open markets and the expiration of patents related to selective laser sintering (SLS) are also spurring the upsurge, according to the report.

An increasing array of manufacturing materials, such as polymers, metals/alloys, sand, ceramics, and living tissue is also making 3D printing highly adaptable to many fields, the report notes.

In the last two decades, 3D printing has shifted from rapid prototyping to manufacturing, mainly because of its advantages over traditional manufacturing practices.

These advantages include innovative designing, high adaptability levels, less time to market, and less tooling requirements.

The report notes that additive manufacturing is still ideal for creating highly customizable products in relatively few numbers.

The major companies operating in this market are 3D Systems (U.S.), Stratasys (U.S.), Arcam AB (Sweden), Exone (U.S.), and others.

MarketsandMarkets is a global market research and consulting company based in the United States. It publishes strategically analyzed market research reports and serves as a business intelligence partner to Fortune 500 companies across the world.