AM Investment Strategies
AMS Spring 2023

3D Printed Plastic Parts on Track for $26B in Revenues by 2030

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SmarTech Analysis has released its first report dedicated to the plastic 3D printing sector. Its flagship Polymer Parts Produced: AM Applications Market Analysis estimates the production volumes and resulting estimated market values of 3D printed polymer components. The leading market research firm dedicated to additive manufacturing (AM) has projected that, due to the adoption of 3D printing for manufacturing across a number of verticals over the next 10 years, polymer AM parts will represent $26 billion in revenues annually.

The new publication complements SmarTech’s original Metal Parts Produced data product, allowing for broader coverage of the AM industry. This inaugural, data-only report tracks the production volumes and resulting market value of polymer components, including prototypes, tools and tooling, and end-use production items. They span eight major industries with dozens of part categorizations, ranging from aircraft interiors and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) parts in aerospace to dental and personalized surgical guides in healthcare.

Stratasys’s Selective Absorption Fusion technology features the use of a counter-rotating roller, which coats powder layers onto the print bed and applies absorber fluid, which images the part layers. These imaged layers are then fused together when an infrared (IR) lamp is passed over the whole print bed. These processing steps are performed in the same direction across the bed in order to ensure uniform consistency and thermal experience for all parts, no matter where they are located in the build. Image courtesy of Dyemansion.

Polymer 3D Printing Matures into End Use Parts

The report details the growth and maturation of polymer AM. As the technology becomes increasingly competitive with injection molding and other plastic manufacturing technologies, AM is being used for greater numbers of end use parts, functional tooling and prototypes. In particular, it projects that the use of powder-based 3D printing is becoming the dominant method for polymer components, whereas in the past it shared the parts market with filament techniques. Highlighting developments from HP, EOS, 3D Systems, Stratasys, and others, SmarTech estimates that the number of items made with powder-based technologies will exceed 100 million annually by 2025.

The market research firm also indicates that the top five fastest expanding part categories in terms of compound annual growth rate (CAGR) are most frequently end use components for every major polymer print technology through 2030. This is most true of aerospace, which saw the highest CAGR for end use parts across all technologies, followed by consumer goods. Because medical 3D printing (including dental) is comparatively more mature, its growth is more modest compared to industrial applications.

Image courtesy of SmarTech Analysis.

Like its Metal companion, the Polymer Parts Produced database will be updated yearly and is available as a one-time or subscription purchase. It can be fully customized to the needs of the client, meaning that individual data segments and subsets can be acquired, as well. For custom or subscription pricing, contact info@smartechpublishing.com. More information about the report can be found here.

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