4D printing, also known as 4-dimensional printing, refers to a technology that combines 3-dimensional (3D) printing techniques with advanced software, material science and engineering. It adds the fourth dimension of time and provides 3D printed objects with the ability to change their shape. These printed objects can transform into various forms due to external stimuli, including heat, water, light, electricity, magnetic field, chemical substances and other environmental factors. In recent years, 4D printing has rapidly gained traction as it offers improved efficiency, quality and performance capabilities than traditional manufacturing techniques. However, the 4D printing technology is still in its nascent stage, and several key players are engaged in research and development (R&D) activities to explore its potential applications across various industries.
The global 4D Printing market reached a value of US$ 78.4 Million in 2021. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach a value of US$ 570.1 Million by 2027 exhibiting a CAGR of 37.50% during 2022-2027.
The escalating demand for innovation in numerous 3D printing applications represents the primary factor driving the market growth. Due to their self-transforming capabilities, 4D printed objects can maximize the use of limited resources, thereby reducing the manufacturing, transportation and handling costs while saving time, efforts and resources. As a result, the growing need to minimize the overall operational costs and improve business efficiency and the increasing emphasis on ensuring a sustainable environment are augmenting the demand for 4D printing.
The competitive landscape of the industry has also been examined along with the profiles of the key players being ABB Ltd, Autodesk Inc., CT CoreTechnologie Group, EnvisionTEC Inc. (Desktop Metal Inc.), HP Development Company L.P, Materialise NV, Merck KGaA, Sculpteo (BASF SE), Stratasys Ltd. and Self-Assembly Laboratory.