The growing demand of 3D printing technology for prototyping has led to significant developments in the rapid prototyping materials market. Since its inception, prototyping has been a major application area of 3D printing. Prototyping ensures that a product is foolproof, as it is tried and tested in its development stage. Earlier, prototyping was conducted by utilizing techniques, such as subtractive manufacturing that comprised cutting, drilling, and milling. These techniques have varied disadvantages such as material losses and extra tooling costs, along with high processing time. Nowadays, 3D printing is gaining wide acceptance as a technology that can be used for rapid prototyping with limited additional costs.
Key players operating in the rapid prototyping materials market include 3D Systems Corporation (U.S.), LPW Technology Ltd. (U.K.), EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems (Germany), Carpenter Technology Corporation (U.S.), Renishaw Plc (U.K.), Arcam AB (Sweden), Stratasys Ltd. (U.S.), Oxford Performance Materials (U.S.), Royal DSM N.V. (Netherlands), and Arkema S.A. (France), among others.
Substantial investments have been made in the past few years by key companies such as EOS GmbH (Germany), 3D Systems Corporation (U.S.), Stratasys Ltd. (U.S.), Arkema S.A. (France), Sandvik AB (Sweden), Renishaw (PLC), and Arcam AB (Sweden). Among them, Stratasys Ltd. has been a leader in the rapid prototyping materials market, in terms of technological expertise. The company has recently introduced grades of ABS, PPSF, and PPSU, among other materials. It also offers commercial as well as basic grades of plastic filaments. Moreover, Stratasys has acquired MakerBot in 2013, which helped the company expand its existing line of products and enhance market presence.
Stratasys Ltd. has also expanded its 3D printing material business through acquisitions, agreements, expansions, and new product launches. By undergoing such strategic developments, the company intends to address the growing demand of 3D printing materials in the market and further enhance its production capacity. Moreover, the company has also collaborated with renowned 3D printing material companies to improve its technological expertise and expand its product portfolio.
3D Systems Corporation is another leading player in the rapid prototyping materials market. The company effectively strategizes to focus on developments such as new product developments, expansions, acquisitions, agreements, and partnerships to gain a competitive edge over other market players. As a part of its growth strategy, the company is aggressively involved in undergoing acquisitions, entering into new agreements, and launching new products, to expand its presence in the rapid prototyping materials market. The company is also focused on expansion of its production facilities by strategically acquiring startups or small firms that can be potential competitors in the near future. Since 2011, the company has acquired 30 small- and medium-scale firms and has vertically integrated its printer and print materials portfolio. Such developments have helped the company expand its global operations as well as distribution network.
Rapid Prototyping Materials Market by Type (Polymers, Metals, Ceramics), Form (Filament, Powder, Ink), Function (Conceptual, Functional Prototype), End User (Aerospace & Defense, Manufacturing & Construction, Healthcare) - Global Forecast to 2021
Markets and Markets
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