Minimum wastage of raw material in 3D printing technology is a factor driving the 3D printing market. 3D printing technology enables the physical production of object which was earlier manufactured by traditional method 3D printing technology is emerged as a process of prototyping the object to make actual usable parts and products. It is a process of layering of raw material instead of cutting and drilling. 3D printing technology is advantageous over traditional mass manufacturing of identical objects in terms of its lower cost. Though the created products from 3D printing are prototypes, the producers also use this technology in low-volume manufacturing. The major advantage of 3D technology is to obtain a product which is not easily manufactured otherwise.
3D printing enables the creation of iterative products and that causes the decrement in time taken to reach the market. Growing number of new product developments and R&D activities are expected to drive the 3D printing market over forecast period. Increasing use of 3D printing in end-use industries such as healthcare and automotive industry, the development of different designs & patterns and ease of production are expected to drive the market in the coming years. The traditional manufacturing method results in more lead time which is expected to challenge the 3D printing market. Lack of technological ability to use the technology effectively is anticipated as the barrier to the 3D printing market. The technology demands for easier accessibility and training practise which is necessary to avail more advantages and to make efficient use of technology. This factor has projected as a challenge to the growth of the market over the forecast period.
Key application segments for 3D printing includes automotive, aerospace, consumer products and medical applications. Automotive segment uses 3D printing for tooling and low-volume end-use parts in house and prototype buildings. Healthcare is the prominent application sector. Hearing ad shells, prosthetics, dental objects made from plastic or pliable materials, strong& flexible new knee joints mimicking bone made by nylon and human tissues are some of the examples of 3D printing products. Aerospace segment uses specific patented FDM technology for prototyping, part manufacturing, and tooling. Building process of prototypes of parts used in commercial rockets and planes uses 3D printing technology which is a factor leading towards the market growth. Consumer goods industry is a major application segment of 3D printing technology due to the increasing demand for new designs and patternsin consumer goods. Mechanical engineers, industrial designers, graphic artists and packaging designers use prototypes designed with the help of 3D printing to understand product’s aesthetic and its functional appeal which is going to impact the market growth positively over the forecast period.
Raw material Insights
Plastic, wax, metal, ceramics and polymers are used tobuild various objects with 3D printing technology. Polymer is the key raw material used in 3D printing and it is expected to capture higher share of 3D printing market. Printers associated with other materials are more expensive than the printers associated with polymers and thermoplastics. Hence polymers are expected to dominate the 3D printing market over the forecast period. Furthermore, plastic products which need customization can drive the growth of polymer 3D printing. However, manufacturers are shifting on using metals as a raw material. Metal is used in dental industry, implants, aerospace and others. Metals such as chromium, titanium, aluminium and cobalt are used for manufacturing implants. Growing demand for aerospace, automotive and electronics consumer goods are expected to increase the demand for metal 3D printing.
North America is the largest regional market of 3D printing, due to the existence of major players of 3D printing technology in this region. Stratasys and 3D Systems are the major players in North America.3D printing market. These companies are expected to grow gradually in Europe over the forecast period owing to the increasing awareness about 3D printing technology. In Asia Pacific, Japan is the largest regional market which is going to witness significant growth in coming years due to the increasing demand of consumer goods as well as existing favourable aspects for manufacturing and sales of the 3D printers. Chinese government is expected to focus on to create high value finished products which can lead to the growth of the 3D printing market in near future.
Stratasys In., 3D Systems Corporation, Arcam AB, CRP Group, Envisiontec GMBH, Royal Dsm N.V., Arkema S.A., LPW Technology Ltd., EOS GMBH Electro Optical Systems, Oxford Performance Materials, Exone GMBH, Hoganas AB, Voxeljet AG and Materialise NV are some key players in 3D printing market. Increasing competition between players may reduce the cost of 3D printing. Copyrights, patents and trademarks may create the barrier for players in coming years.
Research Support Specialist, USA