A new detailed 3D printing materials market report from Market Research Reports gives forecasts to 2025 for a range of additive manufacturing materials suppies: photopolymers,thermoplastics as filaments and pellets, thermoplastics as powder,metal powders, and powder-bed inkjet powders.
Previous market reports have placed the long term materials market for additive manufacturing technologies at over half a billion dollars by 2025, such as the $600 million (£374 million, €436 million) mark in the next decade predicted by industry research firm IDTechEx in it’s 3D Printing Materials 2014-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts by Dr Wendy Kneissl.Previous market reports have also shown the near term materials market for additive manufacturing technologies to also reflect this growth, as analysts at Technavio forecast the global 3D printing materials market to grow at a CAGR of 19.97 percent over the period 2013-2018.
Now, this new report, by Market Research Reports, adds an updated source of data and analysis for the additive manufacturing materials market. The new report states that the market for photopolymers will continue to be the largest section of the market through to 2025. Although, we will witness the various other material sectors within the market gain market share in terms of tons produced. This will be largely driven by the move from prototyping three dimensional proofs towards final 3D printed production. The wider the range of mechanisms, funishings and components the more likely the wider the range of materials that are required to produce the range of parts for the final 3D printed product.
It is also the move from prototyping to3D printed production that creates a major influence upon where we find the highest growth for any material, which will be seen in the market for metal powders. It is worth considering the production levels, currently placed at less than thirty tons per year, will remain relatively low, with high raw material and processing prices. Together these combined variables will bring about a change, such that prices for these materials will fall more slowly than for alternative 3D printing materials.
For any given material class, its market sizeis actually more sensitive to the installed base of the corresponding three 3D printer technology than to the actual price of the materials themselves. Should material prices increase, only a small reduction in the average utilisation rate of the printer installed base is required for the market size to actually fall as a result.
The current increase in unit purchase of materials occurs in a market place that is dominated by key players and smaller niche peripherials. There are a range of vendors of 3D printing materials, such as: Arcam AB., ExOne GmbH, Stratasys Ltd., Arkema SA, Bolson Materials International Inc., CRP Group, DSM Desotech Inc., EnvisionTEC GmbH, EOS Gmbh Electro Optical Systems, Hoganas AB, Lomiko Metals Inc., LPW Technology Ltd., Materialise NV, Oxford Performance Materials, Renishaw plc, Sandvik AB, Solid Concepts Inc., and Voxeljet AG.
A number of these reports now agree by saying that 3D printer manufacturers are increasingly engaging in practices which are perceived by end-users as anti-competitive by the practice of customer lock-into their own materials supplies viaRFID tagging of material cartridges and similar activities. This creates the foundation for the potential of a monpolisation of the pricing of the 3D printing materials. The new report concludes that the very market practice of the creation of new materials for 3D printing is hindered by the practice of lock-in by some 3D printer manufacturers and that barriers to entry for third party materials suppliers are high, with many unable to achieve the economies of scale required to accelerate both materials development and progress towards a competitive market.