3D printers in healthcare can use wide range of materials. On these lines, the 3D printing market has been segmented into donor cells, plastics, ceramics, and metals. Plastics have huge demand in 3D printing in healthcare industry due to their relatively low cost and their ease of manufacturing. Plastics/ Polymers were the most widely used materials for 3D printing in healthcare with estimated revenue of $189.9 Million in 2014. They are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.1% over the forecast period of 2015 – 2020. Ceramic materials were the second major shareholder in the global 3D printing in healthcare market while the utilization of donor cells for 3D printing in healthcare is estimated to grow at a highest CAGR of 28.8% during the forecast period.
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3D printing (3DP) or additive manufacturing (AM) is used to convert a 3D model into a three dimensional object and the material used for this purpose is called 3DP material. 3D printing has begun to flourish in various application areas in healthcare such as dental, medical, implants, drug manufacturing and so on.
The 3D printing technology has numerous applications in healthcare and can be segmented into implants & prosthetics, surgical guides, hearing aids, and tissue engineering. Implants and prosthetic limbs made of different types of metals and plastics are already employed and widely used in the healthcare industry. However, cost effective, customizable 3D printed prosthetic limbs have revolutionized the medical sector and will further fuel 3D printing medical applications. Dental laboratories have actively adopted 3D printed products in conducting surgeries of replacement and repairs.
The demand for implants in this sector will rise further owing to increasing dental implant surgeries and operations. Dental Implants applications occupied largest share in global 3D printing in healthcare market with recorded revenue of $175.3 Million in 2014. Implants and Prosthetics applications were the second major shareholder while Tissue Engineering applications are estimated to grow at a highest CAGR of 26.2% over the forecast period.
The global 3D printing in healthcare market is estimated to witness rapid growth in coming years due to increasing number of applications in healthcare industries ranging from orthopedics to dental and many more. The usage of 3D printers in healthcare industry has started recently for designing customized medical devices, prosthesis which includes prosthetic limbs, teeth and so on. As a result, demand is expected to increase for materials which are used for this purpose which includes various types of plastics, ceramics, and metals.
Moreover, governments of various countries are investing and formulating policies encouraging the growth of this industry. Huge investments are being put into companies working in this space through various sources for research purposes due to the revolutionary number of applications and monetizing potential. However, high cost of professional 3D printers is indirectly affecting the rate of usage of 3D printers in health care industry and for R&D purposes at universities. Hence, only large organizations and universities are involved in this industry with provide investments from governments and contract signed companies. With the high costs of printers and materials, it becomes prohibitive for an individual to afford the price and is the major constraint of the market.
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The global 3D printing in healthcare market in 2014 was dominated by the Americas due to increased adoption of 3D printing technologies and increased investments. Europe is the second major shareholder of global 3D printing in healthcare market next to Americas. Europe market is estimated to grow at a great pace due to significant developments such as mergers and acquisitions and remarkable investments by government in 3D technologies.
Asia-Pacific is also estimated to experience remarkable growth in this market, exhibiting a CAGR of 23.5% over the forecast period. Even though, Asia-Pacific’s 3D printing in healthcare market share is lower than that of Europe at present, and it is estimated to have significant market potential in future due to increasing populations and applications of 3D printing in implants and surgeries.
The global 3D printing in healthcare market as of 2014 was mainly dominated by key players such as:
- Stratasys Ltd. (U.S.)
- 3D Systems (U.S.)
- Materialise NV (Belgium)
- EnvisionTEC GmbH (Germany)
Companies like Organovo, Oxford Performance Materials, Aspect Biosystems and n3D Biosciences are the prominent players in the three-dimensional organ and tissue printing market.
As per IndustryARC analysis there are more number of material and printer manufacturers compared to technology developers, whereas day by day the new entrants into this category are increasing. With the growing adaption of 3D printing especially in dental, medical and prosthetics industry the laboratory scientists showing much interest in developing tools and solutions to meet the demand. The above stated material and printer suppliers are cooperating and joining forces with research scientists and investing high amounts to develop new solutions as there is exponential growth opportunity to gain profits in the coming future.
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