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Top products that will lead 3D printing materials market to gain significant traction over the next few years
Published Date: May 9, 2017 Author: Saipriya Iyer
A plethora of trends have been forecast for 3D printing materials market, which has, in recent times, established itself as a mega business with a profitable revenue margin. The cosmos of three-dimensional printing has witnessed a lot of technical advancements in the last few years, and will make a prominent impact on the industrial, manufacturing, education, aviation, healthcare, automotive, and consumer electronics sectors. While the concept had been treated with skepticism and slight disdain at the time of its inception, it has now gained significance and is being recognized as one of the most transformative trends of recent times, thereby giving a boost to 3D printing materials market.
The 3D printing process, also called additive manufacturing, involves the dissection of an object into numerous miniature slices, and then the restructuring of the same, from the bottom to the top, layer by layer. Every one of those layers is basically a horizontal cross-section of the resultant product, which are then meshed together to form the final object that boasts of an aesthetic appearance and a classy finesse. 3D printers use specific material to create parts and shapes in some sort of plastic. Nowadays, these printers can use any kind of material, subject to which industry experts have outlined several materials that can be best used to manufacture figurines, cutlery, statues, etc.
Key products of 3D printing materials market can be segmented into ceramics, metals, and plastics. As the name suggests, ceramic materials are widely used to print plates, bowls, cups, china, saucers, figurines, statues, and collectibles. Moreover, ceramic materials offer a thermal resistance of approximately 600 degree Celsius, subject to which ceramic 3D printing materials industry is set to grow significantly over 2016-2024, having held a share of more than 20% of the overall revenue with a valuation of more than USD 100 million in 2015.
3D printing technology is heavily deployed across various professional domains to create prototype models for real-time applications, thereby fueling global 3D printing materials market. The general criteria for purchasing the printing material is to check its tensile strength, however, not all materials can be evaluated based on their strength. Nonetheless, 3D printing materials industry encompasses so many varieties of material that manufacturers will have a wide selection spectrum to choose their favorites from.
Best materials used for 3D printing:
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
A common, opaque thermoplastic material made from crude oil, ABS has a melting point of 220 degree Celsius and the capacity to reform very quickly. Famed as one of the toughest products of 3D printing materials market, ABS is impact resistant, color retaining, non-toxic, and glossy. Easy to mold and relatively tough to break, ABS is one of foremost materials used for 3D printing, Lego toys, resins, and more. Owing to its excellent properties, it gets heated quickly and sets fast as well to form the necessary print, thereby propelling ABS 3D printing materials market, which is expected to grow at a remarkable rate over the next few years. As per the estimates Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) market is slated to exceed a revenue of USD 38 billion by 2024.
Metals such as bronze, gold, silver, stainless steel, titanium, nickel, and aluminum are extremely effective materials for 3D printing. Metal dust is bound and fired to become a solid, envisioned object that is later polished for a perfect finish. Prototype models can be developed with efficacy using this process. The huge availability of metals and their efficient properties will help propel metal 3D printing materials market.
Metals are widely used for 3D printing applications across the aerospace, defense, industrial, and automotive sectors, subject to which metal 3D printing materials industry is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 17% over 2016-2024.
Polylactic acid (PLA)
PLA is made from biological raw materials and is the latest polymer biodegradable plastic available in 3D printing materials market. With a melting point range of 180 to 200 degree Celsius, PLA can be embedded with other materials for texture and color. It also cools down rather fast to form an object that tough, opaque, and resilient, with a matte finish. Subject to its excellent characteristics and ease of printing, PLA is used for low cost 3D printing in biomedical and education sectors. The product has a long shelf life, is biodegradable, and does not demand the use of a heated print bed, thereby stimulating PLA 3D printing materials market.
Stem cells are reportedly the latest fad in 3D printing materials industry. Extensive research & development activities undertaken by scientists have led to the usage of 3D printing to develop stem cells for creating artificial organs, regenerating tissue, and testing medication. In fact, recently, a group of Swedish researchers created an artificial 3D printed cartilage tissue using stem cells, which they state, is no different from an ordinary human tissue. Such inventions are likely to revolutionize the healthcare sector in the future, thereby stimulating stem cell 3D printing materials market.
Nylon melts at 250 degree Celsius and has recently joined the bandwagon of 3D printing materials industry. It is a tough material that possesses non-toxicity, high tensile strength, chemical resistance, and damage resistance. Nylon filaments can withstand mechanical stress and require white glue and a heated print bed while printing. Pertaining to its properties of flexibility, durability, chemical endurance, low friction, and corrosion resistance, nylon is used to develop 3D printed end-use components and functional prototype models. Nylon 3D printing materials market is forecast to earn a substantial revenue over the next few years, driven by the product’s high demand across the automotive, industrial, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is a light material with a melting point of 230 degree Celsius and a good sticking capacity. It is one of the most suitable materials for 3D printing, as its prints are relatively stronger and lighter than that of other products in 3D printing materials industry. Furthermore, HDPE market is projected to register a CAGR of 4% over 2016-2024 with a target revenue estimation of USD 88 billion by 2024. This escalating growth will also bring about a positive impact on global 3D printing materials market.
Of late, the three essentials for survival – food, clothing, and shelter, have also been subject to the 3D printing technology. It has been reported that the Chinese company HuaShang Tengda 3D printed an entire two-story house that occupies an area of more than 4,000 square feet. Furthermore, a company in Russia managed to build a 400-square feet house in just 24 hours, with an expenditure of more than USD 10,000. This is likely to spur 3D printing materials market from the construction sector. In the years to come, 3D printing is bound to be used massively for applications that may have never crossed the human mind. This will create a rather extensive demand for durable, resistant materials, thereby propelling 3D printing materials industry globally.
Industry experts predict that 3D printing is all set to go mainstream on a sufficiently large scale, in the next decade or so, which is likely to augment 3D printing materials market. The huge demand for 3D printing across prominent sectors such as education and healthcare will fuel global 3D printing industry, the appreciable growth of which will subsequently create a positive impact on 3D printing materials market. Reputed companies have been focusing on developing supremely high quality products at reasonable costs. 3D printing materials market is reported to be quite consolidated, considering that the top product manufacturers held more than 50% of the global share in 2015.
The coming years will witness an outbreak of enhancements in 3D metal printing, experimentation with 3D printed organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, and multi-color 3D printing, which will augment 3D printing materials market. In addition, product manufacturers are working on using multi-materials in consumer 3D printers. This will apparently allow the materials to spread over various layers, and the finished object will be stronger & sturdier than ever. This in turn, will generate an obvious demand for high quality materials, thereby propelling global 3D printing materials market.
It is expected that in the near future, 3D printing materials market will lead to the onslaught of disruptive trends across the medical, manufacturing, education, packaging, and industrial arenas.
Global Market Insights, Inc. has a report titled “3D Printing Materials Market Size By Product (Ceramics, Plastics, Metals), By End-user (Electronics & Consumer Products, Automotive, Medical, Industrial, Education, Aerospace), 3D Printing Equipment Market Size By Product (Polyjet, Fuse Deposition Modeling [FDM], Selective Laser Sintering [SLS], Stereolithography [SLA], Colorjet), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy, China, India, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, GCC), Application Growth Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2016 – 2024” available at https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/3D-printing-materials-market.