3D printing technology, also referred to as additive manufacturing, is a manufacturing technology used for the production of complex structures and smaller designs. The introduction of 3D printing has helped manufacturers design and develop complex structures with ease, which would not have been possible without the use of conventional manufacturing techniques. 3D printing is a manufacturing technology in which manufacturing is done layer by layer and hence, the accuracy of the production has also increased to a high level. This technique, most commonly, requires materials, such as thermoplastic powders, photosensitive resins, thermoplastic filaments, metal wire, ceramic powders and metal powders, which can be used to manufacture various parts and components as per the requirements of producers.
There are special machines capable of manufacturing such complex structures; however, they must be operated under human supervision. The use of powder, filament and wired materials for the manufacturing of products has enabled manufacturers to use several types of metals, alloys and various polymers as per requirement and design. Thus, the permutation and combination of several 3D printing consumables has enabled industries to produce products that are more durable, economical and suitable for use in various industrial and commercial applications. Post processing consumables, such as surface finish sandpapers, cold welding consumables, solvents, resins and binders (for dipping, coating process, etc.), polishing paper & compounds, primers and paints, are also gaining traction as consumers today are more attracted towards the aesthetics and appeal of products in the global market.
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This additive manufacturing process collects powder, which is typically the most consumed material in the manufacturing process, in the reservoir and then, according to the need, deposits the powder on the manufacturing bed to form layers of the product. These layers usually have a thickness ranging from 20 µm to 100 µm. Once the layers are properly placed and distributed, they are also bound or melted using a high energy beam. In the second case, the beam source is ideally one high energy laser, but many systems use two or more lasers with varying power standards under the inert gas environment.
The most commonly used processes are Selective laser melting (SLM), Digital Light Processing (DLP), Stereolithography (SLA), Fused deposition modelling (FDM), Electronic Beam Melting (EBM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Laminated object manufacturing (LOM). The lone exemption to this process is the Electron Beam melting (EBM) process, which operates in full vacuum condition with an electron beam for metals. The melting process is repeated layer by layer, slice by slice, until the last layer is melted and the full product is complete. Then it is removed from the powder bed and post processing is done according to the product requirements.
When combined with powerful and modern tools that optimize analysis and simulation process to generate an optimal design solution, such technologized tools and manufacturing processes are able to design products that are perfect, lightweight and long lasting. The resulting parts not only take a reduced amount of time to design, but are also lighter and significantly stronger than part designs that are manufactured using conventional manufacturing methods.
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Attributing to these enhanced properties, 3D printing consumables find abundant applications in the automotive, aerospace, construction, defense and medical industries. The 3D printing consumables market is anticipated to grow in all industrial and manufacturing sectors owing to growing applications in lightweight engineering products. Moreover, the 3D printing consumables market is estimated to show positive growth since, regulatory authorities are pressing manufacturers to use products that are more ecofriendly with a minimum amount of natural resources during the production process.
The 3D printing consumables market has a lot of scope in the research and development division since researchers and scientists are coming up with new consumables and software, which are more efficient and economical. Space constraint is an important factor for manufacturers and hence, they are opting for light and compact products, which in turn is expected to fuel the growth of the 3D printing consumables market in the consumer goods sector. The market for 3D printing consumables is anticipated to grow at a healthy CAGR in the coming future.
Furthermore, the growing applications of products manufactured by 3D printing in commercial and industrial sectors is expected to propel the growth of the overall 3D printing consumables market in the near future. By region, North America, followed by Europe and APAC, is projected to dominate the global 3D printing consumables market by 2018 end. Additionally, North America and Europe region strong a footprint of global players with substantial market shares; however, for the rest of regions, the market is fragmented with few international suppliers and many mid-sized to small sized competitors.
Global 3D Printing Consumables: Market Segmentation
The global 3D printing consumables market can be segmented on the basis of technology as:
- Stereolithography (SLA)
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
- Fused deposition modelling (FDM)
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
- Selective laser melting (SLM)
- Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)
- Laminated object manufacturing (LOM)
The global 3D printing consumables market can be segmented on the basis of consumable type as:
Surface finish Sandpapers
Cold Welding Consumables
Solvents, Resins and Binders (For Dipping, Coating Process, etc.)
Polishing Paper & Compounds
Primers and Paints
Others (Mineral Oil, Adhesives, etc.)
The global 3D printing consumables market can be segmented on the basis of sales channel as:
- Offline Sales
- Online Sales
The global 3D printing consumables market can be segmented on the basis of end use as:
- Aerospace and Defense
- Medical & Healthcare
- Electronics & Consumer Products
- Others (Food & Beverage, construction, etc.)
Key Developments and Revenue Growth across the Industry:
- On 2th April, 2018, 3D Systems, Inc. announced that the company and its customers participated in the 30th annual Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference held during 8Th April – 12th April, 2018, in St. Louis, U.S. The participation led to the sharing of strategies and workflows for 3D printing solutions to make manufacturing more efficient, responsive, and cost effective. Manufacturers can begin with 3D systems’ affordable, industrial 3D printing solutions and grow into the company’s full production factory solutions for plastics and metals
- On 20th December, 2017, Arcam AB, a supplier of Additive Manufacturing (“AM”) solutions and part of GE Additive, has signed a lease agreement with Castellum for its EBM (Electron Beam Melting) business to move into a refurbished 11,800 sqm. facility in Härryda, outside GöteborgGlobal 3D Printing Consumables Market: Key PlayersThe key participants in the global 3D printing consumables market are
- 3D Systems, Inc.,
- Arcam AB,
- Concept Laser GmbH,
- EOS GmbH ExOne GmbH,
- Solidscape Inc.,
- SLM Solutions GmbH,
- Stratasys Ltd
- Stratasys Ltd.,