A growing demand for 3D printers in China might help TierTime Technology Co Ltd, of Beijing, become the world's largest manufacturer of 3D printers by next year.

"Our plan is to further expand the local market with affordable machines, and if that goes well, the company will be the No 1 3D printer provider in 2014," said Guo Ge, CEO of TierTime.

The single largest manufacturer of 3D printers in China, TierTime is also the biggest player in Asia – and the third-largest worldwide – in number of machines shipped.

Poised to sell more than 10,000 desktop 3D printers by the end of this year, Guo says TierTime plans to send something like 80 percent of the company's products to developed markets like the United States and the European Union in the near term.

Luo Jun, CEO of the Asian Manufacturing Association, says revenues from the 3D printing industry are poised to reach 10 billion yuan – or approximately $1.6 billion – within the next three years.

Industry experts say that by 2018, worldwide sales of 3D printing hardware may reach the $3 billion mark. That number comes from research firm Global Industry Analysts. They add that the current market size for 3D printing hardware worldwide is around $2 billion.

TierTime Technology Co. Ltd, was founded in 2003, and their 3D printing products are mainly based on MEM technology, Melted and Extruded Modeling (very similar to FFF or FDM in the USA). The company has also researched and developed materials.