The use of 3D printing materials in various end-use industries, majorly in automotive, medical, aerospace & defense, is projected to boost the demand for 3D printing materials during the forecast period. Favorable government initiatives are also expected to drive the global 3D printing materials market in the coming years. Innovation and growth in 3D printing technology and materials are projected to create lucrative opportunities for the players operating in the global 3D printing materials market. However, volatile raw material prices are expected to affect the global 3D printing materials market.
In the automotive industry, prototyping has become a vital part of the product development process in the automotive sector, which offers a means to validate parts before they are manufactured. 3D printing creates complex, intricate designs that are impossible through traditional manufacturing methods. 3D printing is a cost-effective and flexible way to produce customized parts for a vehicle's interior and exterior parts. Many automotive applications require materials that combine toughness and ductility with heat and chemical resistance and should also be durable. 3D printing with high-strength polymers like nylon, PEEK, plastics ABS, ASA, and metals such as aluminum, steel alloys, and titanium are used in functional car components and tooling. Additionally, carbon fiber composites are used to make lighter car components.
Digital technology, such as desktop 3D printing devices, 3D scanners, and more readily available materials, is gradually replacing traditional procedures. Dental labs may create crowns, bridges, and bite splints that precisely fit a patient's anatomy by combining intraoral scanning and 3D printing. Additionally, it is used to create personalized orthopedic and prosthetic devices using a variety of approved biocompatible metals, such as titanium, or plastic materials. Currently, implants for cranial reconstruction, spine reconstruction, and hip and knee replacements are made via 3D printing.
The use of 3D printing technology in the production of various consumer goods such as clothing, footwear, beauty & cosmetics, and jewelry, and the food industry, construction industry, and many others are likely to propel the growth of the global 3D printing materials market in the future.
According to the MRFR analysis, the global 3D Printing Materials market size is projected to reach USD 15.4 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 20.45%.
Governments in various regions across the globe are taking the initiative and proposing schemes and policies to grow the 3D printing material market demand in respective regions to increase GDP and develop and create opportunities for the market due to extensive properties possessed by 3D printing technology in various end-use industries. Many market players in the 3D printing material market are developing in the private and public domains, which the government supports.
Electronics 3D printing is another increasingly growing area of interest for defense companies. With the technology, engineers innovate various designs and produce prototypes of complex circuit boards and antennas in-house. For instance, Harris Corporation, a manufacturer of 3D printing electronics systems, achieved a key breakthrough in 2018 when it produced antennas using 3D printing technology. Hence growing usage of 3D printing technology in the aerospace & defense industry and electronics industries can drive the 3D printing material market in the forecast period.
Many innovations have developed in 3D printing technology, which will create numerous opportunities to create a sustainable world and provide growth in development. Some of them are mentioned below. Hence technologies and innovations through R&D will create lucrative opportunities for 3D printing, which in turn demands more innovative and sustainable materials which are not harmful to the environment will also create opportunities for the 3D printing material market in the forecast period, as no product design can't be manufactured through 3D printing in coming decades.
The market for 3D printing materials features a wide variety of regional and local suppliers. There is a lot of competition in the market, and everyone is trying to increase their share as much as possible. The growing demand for 3D printing materials in the automobile industry is the primary factor pushing market growth. Vendors contend with one another in the marketplace over price, product quality, and regional product availability. In order to remain competitive, the market demands that suppliers of 3D printing materials offer both low prices and great quality. There are three tiers of competitors: the top, the second, and the third. However, the top and second tiers together control more than 60% of the worldwide market.
The expansion of the market participants is contingent on the state of the market, the economy, the government's policies, and the growth of the industrial sector. As a result, businesses in the sector need to concentrate on increasing output in order to keep up with demand and provide better services. Major players in the market today include Arkema S.A., Koninklijke DSM N.V., ExOne, Stratasys, Ltd., Sandvik AB, 3D Systems, Inc., Höganäs AB, Evonik Industries AG, CeramTec GmbH, SABIC, BASF SE, DuPont, and Materialise NV. These companies are investing heavily in the research and creation of new 3D printing materials. Although worldwide companies account for the vast majority of sales, smaller regional and local firms nevertheless have a moderate presence. Established in main regions including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa, the multinational corporations with a worldwide footprint have expanded their operations to further penetrate these markets.
- Powder: A form of additive manufacturing that uses raw materials in powder form is called powder-based 3D printing. In this scenario, the powder substance may be metal or plastic. Through the application of a high-energy beam or a binding agent, metal powder is fused in metal-based powder printing. Almost all industrially relevant metals, such as stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, copper, cobalt, nickel alloy, and chrome, and treated using powder-based 3D printing. There are four major technologies used for metal powder 3D printing such as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), electron beam melting (EBM), multi-jet fusion (MJF), and plastic-based powder printing. Size distribution and shape are the most important powder features for reproducibility. Density, compressibility, sintering ability, chemical composition, green strength, surface area, flowability, and thermal qualities are among powder's other technological and physicochemical attributes for 3D printing material.
- Filament: 3D printing filament is the thermoplastic feedstock for fused deposition modeling 3D printers. The most popular filament diameters are 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm. However, the latter is frequently mistaken for the less popular 3 mm. The most popular filament MATERIALs are polylactic acid and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Most entry-level 3D printers are made specifically to use these filaments. Their affordability, at as little as $20 per kilogram, contributes to their allure. It is made into a single, continuous, long, thin plastic thread 100 meters long. This thread is typically spooled into a reel for storage and printer feeding. It is largely used in the medical, automotive, and construction industries.
- Others: Others include liquid materials and semisolids. UV light solidifies resin, allowing liquid 3D printing to quickly create smooth, detailed forms
By End-use Industry
- Metal Powder & Alloys: Metal powder and alloys used in 3D metal printing provide manufacturers with a low-cost option for creating components for various industries and applications. Nickel-based superalloys such as Inconel, copper, cobalt-chrome, titanium, aluminum, stainless steels, precious metals such as gold and silver, and tool steels are common metal materials. Nickel-based superalloys are excellent for components used in extreme temperature and corrosion environments. Inconel can withstand temperatures up to 1200 degrees Celsius and are ideal for weather and saltwater corrosion as the metal has a high resistance. For components used in the medical industry, titanium alloys are preferred due to their biocompatibility. It is highly resistant to corrosion caused by human body fluids and won't cause negative health reactions, as it can be manufactured into implants. Stainless steels and tool steels (carbon & alloy steel varieties) are commonly desired for applications where the 3D printed product requires high strength and hardness properties for greater wear resistance. These metals also provide good weldability and are ductile for applications. Precious metals such as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum are used in jewelry-making applications. These metals can provide an aesthetically pleasing finish for applications with desired delicate and geometric features.
- Others: Other materials include plastic, ceramics, composites, and others. Plastic is the most commonly and widely used in 3D printing. The benefit of using plastic is that it is a highly diverse material for 3D printed products like toys, household fixtures, desk utensils, and vases. It is also a relatively cost-effective raw material to be used for 3D printing for both businesses and customers. High Impact Polystyrene or HIPS is a plastic filament used for dissolvable support structures in FDM printers. It extrudes at around 235°C and has a set of material properties that make it similar to ABS. on the other hand, ceramic objects feature excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties as well as a high temperature resistance. The LCM-technology is capable of producing high-precision 3D ceramic objects with a smooth surface and small components with high complexity.
- Automotive: Car components made with FDM technology are lighter, resulting in a lighter vehicle, higher performance, and lower energy use. FFF is currently one of the automotive industry's most popular and widely utilized 3D printing technologies. Its advantage is the ability to use a wide range of materials with qualities like plastics. Prototyping of components, tooling, jigs & fixtures, low volume parts production, end-user customization, and customized parts, and small batch or on-demand fabrication of spare parts for historic automobiles and discontinued models are some examples of automotive 3D printing uses. 3D printers in automotive design empower companies to try multiple options and iterations in the development stages, leading to optimum and efficient automobile design. Manufacturers have the agility to make design changes on the fly, helping them stay in tune with market requirements and ahead of the competition.
- Healthcare: Doctors are currently utilizing models produced by 3D printing from patient scan data to enhance the diagnosis of illnesses, clarify treatment decisions, plan, and, in some cases, even practice chosen surgical interventions in advance of the actual treatments. 3D printing allows to 3D print medical and lab equipment. It is possible to 3D print plastic parts of the equipment. This drastically reduces costs and time spent waiting to receive a new medical device from external suppliers. Furthermore, the manufacturing process and further applications are also easier.
- Aerospace & Defence: Rapid prototyping is used in the aerospace industry to create ready-to-use parts from original design concepts. By generating fully functional parts, 3D printing technologies enable aerospace industries to generate and test many design variations. While designing and building aircraft, engineers frequently look for the option to reduce fuel consumption and improve energy efficiency by reducing the aircraft's mass. The 3D printing technologies help engineers reduce the aircraft's mass by experimenting with varied lightweight and high-strength materials. Engineers can use the right industrial 3D printer to produce components and parts using lightweight materials with minimal waste. Also, 3D printing technologies enable them to evaluate lightweight materials by printing various components on demand.
- Consumer Products/Consumer Electronics: In contrast to traditional manufacturing, additive manufacturing in consumer goods includes adding several material layers to create a component of an object. As a result, material waste is minimized significantly. It is one of the primary reasons for the process's longevity or sustainability. Nike is an example of a well-known firm that uses this technology. It used 3D printing for its FlyKnit sneakers and said there was around 60% reduced waste. The 3D printing technology offers make-to-order and on-site processes that help companies to make their supply chains more efficient and simultaneously reduce logistics and warehouse costs.
- Construction: Construction 3D printers are 3D printing equipment designed for the construction industry. 3D printing in the construction industry generates construction components or' prints' entire buildings. Construction is well-suited to 3D printing since much of the information required to construct an item will be available because of the design process, and the industry is already familiar with computer-aided manufacturing. Building information modeling (BIM) may promote broader usage of 3D printing. Construction 3D printing enables faster and more precise construction of complex or bespoke goods and lowers labor costs and waste production. It also allows construction in difficult or dangerous locations unsuitable for human labor, such as space.
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- North America: In 2022, North America will hold a sizable market share for 3D printing materials. The growing demand for the product from various applications, including the automotive and defense industry, drives the North American market.
- Europe: Due to an increase in demand for electric vehicles in the major cities, the European market is anticipated to have a sizeable market share of 25.29% by the end of 2030. Many nations have put restrictions on the use of fossil fuels, which has increased the demand for electric transportation in the region. This will increase demand for high-performance semiconductors and smart electric components, which is expected to grow the market in the approaching years.
- Asia-Pacific: The market for 3D printing materials is also anticipated to grow throughout the forecast period because of rising government investments in infrastructure development in developing nations like China and India. Because of the high demand for 3D printing materials for the automotive and defense industries, Europe has been actively monitoring the Asia-Pacific market.
- Latin America: The rising demand for consumer electronics and the quickening development of electric car manufacturing are both credited with driving growth in the Latin American 3D Printing Materials market. The market share is probably going to increase as the semiconductor sector grows throughout the region.
- Middle East & Africa: The main reason fueling demand for electric vehicles in the Middle East and Africa is the region's growing need for products that use existing energy sources more efficiently. Moreover, the demand for semiconductors and high-performance electronic components is expected to increase over the next several years due to the growing popularity of hybrid vehicles in advanced economies like South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc, and these vehicles inturn consume 3D printed materials.