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3D printing is all set to go mainstream

February 02, 2017

3D printing will find application in various sectors including automotive, healthcare and education in the years to come.

Much of the growth in the 3D printing market comes from the big shift from developing only prototypes to mass customization and production of more end-user products. A report from Markets and Markets which provides a global forecast till 2022, says that between 2016 to 2022 3D printing will be used for the production of complex parts. Various governments will invest in 3D printing projects and the secor will see nuanced improvements in manufacturing efficiency. These factors would contribute to an expected growth of $30.19 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 28.5 percent from 2016 to 2022.

The type of 3D printers that will find favor in the years to come are desktop 3D printers. The desktop usage will further enable designs and construction of sculptures, custom avatars, characters, and figurines. This report predicts a drop in the price of metals and wax which in turn would drive the market for desktop 3D printers.

In the coming years the spotlights will be on the laser metal deposition (LMD) printing technology, which comes with applications good enough to repair mould tool surfaces, aero engine components, military vehicles, tipping of turbine blades, and surfacing of oil and gas drilling components. As for a global opportunity, North America is expected to take away the largest share of the pie, says the survey report, making for the largest 3D printing market.

Promise and Opportunities - APAC

Another report from IDC, focusing on worldwide 3D printing spends, says 3D printing spending in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) will grow at a 23 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) from $1.5 billion to $4.3 billion by 2019.

This forecast indicates that the 3D spending in the dental sector is a major market with a CAGR growth forecast of 26 percent by 2019. Furthermore, 3D printing in healthcare will witness rapid growth in the future.

China seems to be the frontrunner in 3D printing within the region and much of the credit is to be given to the support coming from the Chinese government's "Made in China 2025" initiative under China's 15th 5-Year industrial transformation plan for hi-tech manufacturing.

'Make in India' and more

Owing to the 'Make in India' Campaign, the 3D printer market could swell to $79 Million by 2021, says 6Wresearch.

According to the report automotive applications will account for majority of the revenue share while educational and medical applications too will contribute significantly.

Transformative design capabilities Whereas the printers and their usage for industrial applications are concerned, much attention is to be given to the imports. What is likely to change or see a transition in the coming years is India's dependency on China, U.S and Germany for imports of 3D printers. This comes with the various government initiatives to push for domestic manufacturing, which will thereby see an emergence of local players.

6Wresearch predicts the dominating technology to be the Fused Deposition Modeling technique. Owing to factors like low cost and easy availability, printers incorporating this technology will hog larger market share.

This innovative and ever evolving industry is expected to see an increasing market awareness, easier design capabilities, with robust foundations for mass production as well as manufacturing of large scale objects.

Media Source: Cio

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