Charlottesville, Virginia: Revenues generated by materials for 3D printing are expected to reach $2.5 billion in 2018, growing to around $6.8 billion by 2022. This is according to a just-released report from SmarTech Markets Publishing, the industry analysis firm based in town.

The new report “Markets for 3D Printing Materials 2013-2022” provides an in-depth industry analysis, as well as ten-year volume and value forecasts for all major 3D printed materials, broken out by major applications. The materials forecast are: ABS, PLA, acrylics and epoxies, PA/PS/PC, PEEK/PEKK/ULTEM, sand, stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic, titanium and cobalt/chrome. However, many other 3D printable materials from food to concrete are discussed in the report.

Forecasts break down the market into 3D printing materials for aerospace, automotive, rapid prototyping/rapid manufacturing, medical/dental, personal, education, and military purposes. The report also analyzes the current strategies of both 3D printer materials firms, as well as the 3D printer makers themselves in the 3D printing materials space.

Companies examined in this report include: 3D Systems, Arcam, Arkema, Bayer Material Science, CRP, EnvisionTEC, EOS, Fedex, GE, Hoganas, Hunan Farsoon, i.materialise, MakerBot, MCor, Modern Meadows, Nike, Optimec, Organovo, Oxford Performance Materials, Phenix, Ponoco, rp+m, Renishaw, Rhodia/Solvay, Sculpteo, Shapeways, Sinclair & Rush, SolidComposites, Staples, Stratasys, and Voxeljet.

For more details on the report see:.

From the Report:

Almost 65% of 3D printing materials are currently sold into the manufacturing sector. But by 2022, the biggest markets for 3D printing materials will be medical applications ($1.8 billion) and personal printing ($1.4 billion).

PLA revenues will reach almost $220 million in 2018 and grow to around $740 million by 2022. PLA’s bio-degradability is attractive to users in both the personal printing and educational sectors of the 3D printing market. PLA, however, is not as durable as ABS in some regards, which will slow PLA’s adoption in some manufacturing sectors.

Novel alloys and composites – notably cobalt-chrome alloys — will become increasingly 3D printable. Cobalt-chrome alloys are already in widespread use for dental implants. They are also a good material for medical implants and certain turbine parts, since their mechanical properties actually improve at high temperatures. Cobalt-chrome is a long-term bet, but within a decade is expected to generate more sales than any other 3D-printed material than ABS – 2022 revenues are expected to reach more than $810 million.

PEEK, PEKK and ULTEM are important high-grade plastics that are legitimate metal substitutes. They are biologically neutral and offer superior heat, mechanical, and chemical resistance. As a result, SmarTech believes that the market for these materials will be worth $820 million by 2022. PEKK’s lightweight, similar mechanical properties to bone, and radiolucency are particularly well suited for the medical field.

PEEK is being explored for use in custom medical implants, although no PEEK materials have yet been cleared by the FDA to date. Nonetheless, high production costs will restrict PEEK application to specialized parts in advanced parts industries, such as high-performance automotive and aerospace.

About SmarTech Markets Publishing:

SmarTech offers the best in market research, industry analysis and market forecasting for 3D printing, robotics and other advanced manufacturing technologies.

Through our published reports and customized consulting work, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with credible opinions on the direction that 3D printing and related markets are taking and how best to capitalize on the available opportunities.

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