3D printing has become a must-have tool for enhancing businesses' productivity and getting manufacturing closer to the consumer.
FREMONT, CA: One study released reports on 3D printing developments, in the sense of what has become a flourishing global market; it crossed the 10 billion dollars barrier in 2019 and continues to register annual growth of more than 15 percent. The growing number of 3D printer manufacturers is also a testament to the market's booming health: between 2015 and 2020, they have more than doubled to 520, with almost 2,000 printer models available today.
Despite these positive indicators, 3D printing currently accounts for just 0.1 percent of global industrial output, according to the study, demonstrating its vast potential in the years to come. 3D printing has become a must-have tool for enhancing businesses' productivity and getting manufacturing industry closer to the consumer. However, costs remain a significant obstacle to the expansion of technology, particularly in printing materials.
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The report highlights four major trends that illustrate the market in 2020.
• Large-format printers are on the rise, enabling engineers and designers to print large-scale designs in a single process. This aspect ensures that they do not need to print and then assemble a few bits. Alternatively, many items may be printed at once.
• Metal 3D printing is starting up for prototypes and custom parts, and conventional manufacturers are now facing intense competition from start-ups and technology giants. The price of the printer itself remains a matter of maintenance and energy costs. Printed parts often require additional finishing methods, making the process longer and more expensive.
• Printers that work with high-performance thermoplastics are increasingly in demand. Although these lighter-weight materials are more resistant to chemicals and high temperatures than thermoplastics, they are also more expensive.
• The printing of composite material is gaining ground. Carbon fiber applied to a variety of thermoplastics makes them lighter and more resistant. These products are giving new competition to metal alternatives.