Being a part of additive manufacturing(AM), 3D printing technology has modified itself from prototyping to establishing products of use. This process includes layering, drilling without the involvement of cutting, etc. Due to this, altering the primary software would help in establishing different products. But this technology is different from that of mass production resulting in the production of identical parts in bulk at a comparatively lower cost.
Since these are produced in bulk with fixed prototypes, producers are shifting towards establishing low-volume products which can be used in many industries. The primary advantage of this technology is the manufacture of spare parts which are hardly available.m3D printing decreases the need of iterative product development thereby helping in the manufacturing of reliable products. Also, it helps in reducing the raw material wastage in cases like machining as only a part required for printing activities is used. Increasing demand for R&D activities and product development are expected to be the primary driving factors for this market.
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Increasing demand for cost reduction, ease of manufacturing, increased design freedom and growth in industries such as healthcare are also some of the key driving factors to increase the use of this technology. But the lack of skilled employees to be able to manage and use this technology is one of the factors that can hamper the growth of this market. More training is expected, and the technology should be more user-friendly in order to establish efficient and appropriate storage.
The major segments utilizing these technologies are consumer products, aerospace, medical and automotive. The automotive segment is expected to dominate 3D printing market contributing around 40% in the market share for the year 2012. Dental technologies are adopting these technologies to upgrade precision level in implants. Technologies such as stereolithography, inkjet deposition, LBM, and FDM provides help for achieving an appropriate arrangement of models that are going to be used in dental implants.
A huge number of dental laboratories in North America requirements in producing standardized and accurate parts is leading to provide further opportunities to this market. 3D printing market for medical applications is expected to increase with CAGR of 19.3% over the forecast period. 3D printing is being rapidly utilized for rapid prototype development because of the technological advancements. Companies such as General Electric and Boeing have been using 3D printing technology for exploring avenues to increase productivity and decrease cost. Powder melting technologies are utilized in manufacturing engine blades and specialty components. Presently, aerospace companies are making use of nylon, plastic, etc. for fabricating prototypes in interiors of aircraft.
Raw Material Insights
Various raw materials that are used in producing products for 3D printing market are metals, ceramics, and others. The most widely used polymer among all other polymers is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) which is evaluated to have earned a market revenue of USD 805.5 million for the year 2012. Producers are shifting towards making maximum use of metals, but the required printers are highly expensive than those that are made with thermoplastics. And because of this, polymers are anticipated to dominate this market over the forecast period.
North America dominated the market with contributing 42.2% market share in 2012. This was mainly because two main players such as Stratasys and 3D Systems in that region that are leading to bring technological advancements in their products. The European market is all set to dominate the North American market by the end of 2020 and is forecasted to have an estimated value of USD 3,505.9 million until the end of forecasted period. With supportive policies for the sale and production of professional printers in Japan, it is anticipated to dominate the market of Asia Pacific. China strives to play a major role in this industry and inventory of 3D printer has diversified over the past years. The major reason for high support from Chinese government to this technology is to reduce the labor costs as well as to make valuable products.
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Some of the major leading companies in this market are 3D Systems Corporation, Materialise NV, Stratasys Inc. and Envisiontec GmbH. The market is expected to undergo increased shipments and lower prices for the coming years because of high competition between leading companies. The increase in the demand of this market is expected because the products are maturing speedily. Presently, Intellectual property (IP) issues and copyright infringements are the major barriers for the industry.
3D Printing Application Outlook:
• Consumer Products
3D Printing Raw Material Outlook:
3D Printing Regional Outlook:
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Rest of the World (RoW)
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