3D printing is commonly known as additive manufacturing and infers a process that creates a three-dimensional object in which layers of material are formed by computers to generate an object. Objects can be of any shape and can be created using digital model data from a 3D model or any other electronic data source such as additive manufacturing file. Technically, 3D printing refers a process that deposits a binder material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads sheet by sheet. On the basis of application, the global 3D printing plastics market is segmented into commercial, industrial and amateur.
Commercially, 3D printing uses a mixture of several types of filaments, from chocolate and cement to regenerating a tissue. 3D printing is a much new concept than additive manufacturing which serves as a much quick alternative to older engineering methods such as sculpting and forging and is also a cost-effective process. In fact, the3D printing field is much diverse and a rapidly expanding one. Nylon or polyamide is basically used in powder from for plastics printing. The process mainly follows sintering or also called as FDM process. The process ensures flexibility, durability and reliability for 3D printing.
The material can also be used with aluminum powder to produce another 3D printing material for sintering. ABS is another method which is a common and widely used method. Overall, the commercial techniques used in 3D plastics printing are deployed on a large scale worldwide, thus it can be anticipated that the global market is set to grow at a healthy CAGR during forecast period.
The key driving factors responsible for the growth of 3D printing plastics market include adoption of 3D printing technology by end-use industries. However, lack of adoption of new and emerging technologies in developing regions is likely to impede the market growth. Moreover, dominance by large players resulting into lesser emergence of small players also limits the market growth. Other factors such as need for certification of grades and higher costs involved with production of commercial grades inhibit the market growth during the forecast period.
On the basis of type, the global 3D printing plastics market is segmented into photopolymers, PLA, ABS and polyamide/nylon. Photopolymers type contributed to the growth of 3D printing plastics market during the forecast period and is expected to continue the dominance. The growth is mainly due to rise in demand for healthcare and medical equipment and also photopolymers are extensively used in SLA technology and for prototyping of static models in several end-use industries.
On the basis of end-use industry, the global 3D printing plastics market is segmented into healthcare & medical, aerospace & defense, commercial goods and automotive. Healthcare & medical end-use segment is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period owing to enhanced technology, financial support by government and promptness in product development.
On the basis of geographic segmentation, the global 3D printing plastics market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa. North America dominates the global market owing to presence of 3D printing plastics manufacturers. APAC regions are likely to dominate the global market owing to rapid developments in printing technology.
The growth is mainly witnessed in the regions of India, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. Middle-East and African regions are anticipated to grow at a lower CAGR during the forecast period owing to less presence of printing industries and lack of support by the government. The key players in the global 3D printing plastics market include 3D Systems Corporation, EOS GmbH, Arkema SA, Stratasys and Evonik Inc.
Research Support Specialist, USA