Published: March 2017
Report Code: SE10257
Category : Sensors & Controls
3D printing refers to additive manufacturing, which follows the process of adding material in consecutive patterns to build the desired shape. However, traditional manufacturing techniques follow subtractive manufacturing, and create a huge amount of waste as the cut off material cannot be reused. 3D printing eliminates such waste since the only required material is placed in the location and the rest is left out as empty space. It is possible to 3D print in a wide range of materials such as metals, polymers, ceramics, alloys and several forms of food. Global 3D printing market is expected to register a significant growth during the forecast period. Based on application, 3D printing is widely being used in prototyping; however, applications of 3D printers are not limited to it and impacts process designs and supply chain management. 3D printing, as an end-use manufacturing technology, is still in the beginning phase, though it has huge potential to entirely revolutionize many design and production processes in near future.
GLOBAL 3D PRINTING MARKET BY PRINTER $M (2013–2023)
The global 3D printing market is expected to reach $31,863.7 million by 2023. Some of the benefits associated with 3D printing, such as customization, cost efficiency, product manufacturing transformation and competitive advantages, are likely to enhance the acceptance of 3D printing technology across the globe. Increasing acceptance of 3D printing technology is one of the major factors that is expected to drive the global 3D printing market during the forecast period. However, lack of in-house expertise among companies is the major factor restraining the acceptance of this technology, thereby inhibiting the growth of 3D printing market.
Individualization and personalization of the purchased products has been evolving as a key trend in the global 3D printing market. Unlike standard mass production, in which all the products coming out of the mold are same, 3D printing offers the flexibility to customize the product as per consumer’s needs. Customization of designs is especially helpful in industries such as healthcare and gems and jewelry, where people can have distinguished products through 3D printing.
3D printing offers high speed and better quality, due to which most of the global population tends to shift toward 3D printing from traditional manufacturing. Moreover, 3D printing is more economical than traditional manufacturing, as it allows for creation of products through additive manufacturing. Most of the companies are actively adopting the 3D printing technology to pursue cost savings by reducing overpriced and wasteful inventories. 3D printing offers flexibility to shift physical inventory to virtual inventory, which allows to create on-demand products and helps in improving the supply chain.
Initially, 3D printing was only limited to prototyping; however, introduction of various new 3D printing technologies, such as fuse deposition modelling (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS), digital light processing (DLLP) and others, have advanced the application area of 3D printing. Apart from prototyping, 3D printing is widely being accepted for product development, efficiency increment, cost reduction and supply chain improvement. 3D printing has been observed to transform the value chain of a product, whereby the customers are becoming a part of the manufacturing process. With the help of mobile application, a customer can scan the existing products and with their preferences, can send a digital request for a custom product to the manufacturer. The manufacturer through 3D printer, facilitates click-to-print to assemble the preferences set by the buyer and develop a custom product.
The increasing ease of developing customized products is driving the global 3D printing market. Automotive and electronics has been the key industries using 3D printing aggressively. The companies including General Electric and Ford have been the forerunners in the use of this technology. The innovations in 3D printing technology has led to the increase in demand of materials including glass and graphene.
Apart from efficiency and growth benefits, 3D printing offers companies a chance to transform their business with creation of new business models, unique product portfolios and operation models that support these new business models. In this way, 3D printing technology helps organizations to strengthen their position in the value chain. Benefits associated with 3D printing are expected to enhance its usage, beyond its function as a means of production, in the near future. This is again expected to spur the growth of the global 3D printing market during the forecast period.
3D printing makes things more customizable, however, it has certain requirements. For instance, for the optimal use of 3D printing, the quality of hardware used in the manufacturing process should improve, especially in case of complex products such as cars, digital watches, and cameras.
Some of the major companies operating in the 3D printing market include 3D Systems Corporation, Stratasys Ltd., ExOne, voxeljet AG, Arcam AB, SLM Solutions GmbH, EOS GmbH, Envision TEC GmbH, Materialise NV, Concept Laser Gmbh, Autodesk, Inc., and Koninklijke DSM N.V. The major companies in the global 3D printing market have been focusing on product development to stay competitive. For instance, in March 2017, 3D Systems Corporation introduced a 3D printing system that can produce plastic parts 50 times faster compared to the other existing 3D printing systems in the market.