3D printing is a part of the additive manufacturing process, which is used for the layer-by-layer development of objects, using thin materials based on a 3D digital model. It is a sophisticated technology, which is used to print several objects in a short time span without requiring a huge equipment setup. 3D printing technology uses high-performance printers, materials, and AutoCAD software to develop 3D objects. Printing materials play a key role in 3D printing technology as these materials should meet all the characteristic requirements of the end- products being developed.
The major drivers for the 3D printing plastics market include increased supply of 3D printing plastics due to forward integration of major polymer companies, development of application-specific grades of 3D printing plastics, mass customization, initiatives undertaken by governments of different countries to support adoption of 3D printing technologies in various industries. Environmental concerns regarding the disposal of 3D printed-plastics products, skepticism regarding acceptance of new technologies in emerging economies, and required certification for the use of specific grades of 3D printing plastics for particular applications in critical industries can restrain the market from growing. Some of the opportunities for manufacturers include increasing demand for bio-based grades of 3D printing plastics, growing demand for composite grades of 3D printing plastics in various industrial applications. The major challenges faced by the manufacturers is evolving 3D printing technologies, and high manufacturing costs of commercial grades of 3D printing plastics. The global 3D printing plastics market size is expected to grow from USD 721 million in 2022 to USD 1,907 million by 2027, projecting a CAGR of 21.5% during the forecast period between 2022 and 2027.
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Companies operating in the 3D printing plastics market have strengthened their position by adopting expansions, partnerships, agreements, new product/technology launches, joint ventures, contracts, and mergers & acquisitions from 2017-2022. For instance, in March 2022, Evonik launched VESTAKEEP iC4800 3DF, a new osteoconductive PEEK filament for 3D printed filaments during the AAOS trade show in Chicago, USA.
3D Systems Corporation (US), Stratasys, Inc. (US), Covestro AG (Germany), Arkema S.A. (France), Evonik Industries (Germany), BASF SE (Germany), Henkel (Germany), EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems (Germany), Solvay S.A. (Belgium), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (US), Shenzhen eSUN Industrial Co., Ltd. (China), Hunstman Corporation (US), CRP Technology S.r.L (Italy), and Formlabs Inc (US) are some of the key players in the 3D printing plastics market.
3D Systems Corporation provides comprehensive 3D printing and digital manufacturing solutions, including 3D printers for plastics, metals, wax and bioinks, materials, software, advanced manufacturing services and digital design tools. Its solutions support advanced applications in two key industry verticals: Healthcare (which includes dental, medical devices, personalized health services and regenerative medicine) and Industrial (which includes aerospace, defense, transportation and general manufacturing). The company markets its products and services through subsidiaries and channel partners in North America and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and Asia-Pacific and Oceania.
Arkema is a chemical producer, which provides specialty chemicals and advanced materials. The company manufactures a range of products for industries, including construction, packaging, chemical, automotive, electronics, food, and pharmaceutical industries. It operates through three business segments: high performance materials, industrial specialties, and coating solutions. The company offers 3D printing materials through its coating solutions business segment. It has been aggressively promoting the use of powder grades of 3D printing plastics such as Orgasol and Rilsan, which are used in the laser sintering process. Arkema has also been working for the development of the range-specific grades of Kepston PEKK powders, which are used in the laser sintering process. These products are promoted either directly by the company or through printer manufacturers in the market. The company has production centers located in Europe, North America, and Asia. It operates through a network of subsidiaries, such as XL Brands.
Stratasys, Ltd. is a global leader in connected, polymer-based 3D printing solutions, which it provides at every stage of the product life cycle, with multiple technologies and complete solutions for superior application fit, across design, manufacturing and healthcare. The company focus, in particular, on polymer 3D printing solutions that address the fastest-growing manufacturing solutions, which it views as the biggest potential growth opportunity in the 3D printing industry. Leveraging distinct competitive advantages that include a broad set of best-in-class 3D printing platforms, software, materials and technology partner ecosystems, innovative leadership, and a global GTM infrastructure, the company is positioned to further expand its leadership position in this significant and growing global marketplace.
3D Printing Plastics Market by Type (Photopolymer, ABS, PLA, Polyamide), Form (Powder, Liquid, Filament), Application, End-User Industry (Aerospace & Defense, Healthcare, Automotive, Electronics & Consumer Goods) and Region - Global Forecast to 2027
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