The industrial 3D printing market was valued at USD 1.33 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 5.66 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 12.6% from 2018 to 2023.
Will emerging applications in the manufacturing sector create opportunities in the industrial 3D printing market?
The 3D printing technology is increasingly being adopted in the industrial manufacturing sector, especially automotive and aerospace and defense. Still, there are many untapped markets in manufacturing sectors such as electronics/electrical and foundry and forging. There have been several advancements in terms of printers and printing technologies, printing materials, and development in the skill set of workforce. These advancements would allow electronics to be embedded within the structure of products instead of mounting PCBs separately inside the device. 3D printing also has potential opportunities in tooling, jigs and fixtures, injection molding, and production parts manufacturing. Among these, tooling and manufacturing platform application offers a huge potential market for 3D printing. For example, in January 2017, Divergent 3D, a Los Angeles-based start-up, raised USD 23 million in a Series A funding round to commercialize its manufacturing platform using 3D printing to produce the chassis for automobile. This funding round was led by Horizons Ventures — a Hong Kong-based venture capitalist focusing on disruptive and technology-focused start-ups.
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How is ensuring product quality posing challenges in the industrial 3D printing market?
3D printing enables the manufacturing of customized products with the desired designs, especially in the aerospace and medical device industries. However, the availability of materials to meet exact requirements for additive manufacturing of functional products is still a challenge and thereby inhibits industrial 3D printing to be fully implemented for high-level customizations. The industrial 3D printing industry faces the challenge of ensuring the quality of end products, irrespective of the repeated production on the same printing machine or on different machines. The quality of products, especially in terms of exactness and performance, depends on the factors such as materials, printing technology, and printer environment—particularly temperature or pressure. Any changes in these parameters would affect the quality of the end product.
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