Over the years, 3D printing has opened a plethora of opportunities across industry verticals, right from the reduction in discrete parts per product to a decrease in manufacturing costs. The technology has led to improved prototyping abilities, mass customization, and has shortened the value chain. The capacity to create parts with internal complexity, ease of design modification, and cost-effectiveness of small production runs have made it a favorable choice for the manufacturing industry.
How the use of 3D printing is beneficial?
- Mast Customization: Products can be manufactured in small batches and can be created for a single purpose. For instance, in 2019, Diehl Aviation, an aerospace manufacturer, worked with Airbus to develop a customized Curtain Comfort Header, installed on Airbus A350 XWB jet airliner.
- Rapid Innovation:3D printing is an iterative process, and new innovative products can be created and revised quickly. For instance, 3D Bioprinting of organs being done by various universities globally.
- Rapid Prototyping: Products can be produced at a minimal cost without the need for tooling and mold as conventional manufacturing. TWorks, an initiative by the Telangana government, test fly a fully 3D printed UAV in Hyderabad, India, in 2019.
- Rapid Manufacturing: It enables easy management and creation of the just-in-time inventory. In 2019, Dentsply Sirona, manufacturer of dental products and technologies, leveraged it to produce the first printable denture material system.
It has numerous advantages over the traditional manufacturing process ranging from ease and flexibility of design iteration to reduced time-to-market.
Market Overview of 3D Printing Market
Currently, it mainly finds application for prototype, production, and proof of concept. The industry is relatively small; hence, companies have recognized that strategies such as collaboration and acquisition will play a vital role in the acceleration of its adoption. The 3D printing market accounted for a market size of approximately $11 billion in 2019 and is expected to witness growth at a double-digit CAGR during the forecast period.
Applications of 3D Printing
Applications include prototyping, prodImproved Development Cyclesuction, proof of concept, marketing samples, art, education, and others. Given the potential benefits of 3D printing, the technology has not been able to move beyond rapid prototyping across most of the industries and is majorly being used for low volume production.
The success of 3D printing future applications will largely depend on how the technology evolves over the years. To fully utilize the potential benefits of 3D printing and to expand the adoption of this technology, certain challenges need to be overcome.