The global 3D-Printed composites market is projected to reach $ 111 million over the period 2017 to 2022. The 3D printing technology is getting widely spread in the composite industry due to low part cycle time, an efficient process, compatibility with all possible material combinations, lower material wastage, and an organic growth of composite materials in the different industries.
Currently, most of the composite parts are fabricated through labor-intensive manufacturing processes, such as hand layup, which place this versatile material behind in the race compared with other competing materials in the mass-produced applications.
Over the past two decades, composites industry has experienced a sheer transformation in the development of manufacturing process in terms of automation; however, end-use industries, such as automotive, are still demanding further reduction in the overall cycle time of finished parts.
At the same time, they are also looking for such a process which curtails wastage during production. Here, 3D printing plays a vital role in delivering the customers’ expectation by making parts in lesser time with reduced wastage.
The continuous fiber is projected to remain the most preferred composite type for 3D printing during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. Discontinuous fiber-based composite is also gaining market traction because of its higher strength.
Carbon fiber is projected to remain the largest reinforcement type in the global 3D-printed composites market but glass fiber, basalt fiber and other fiber types will also be used. The extrusion is expected to remain the most dominant technology for the fabrication of 3D-printed composite parts during the forecast period; however, powder bed infusion technology is estimated to grow at the highest rate.
North America is projected to remain the most dominant 3D-printed composites market. The region is also the largest manufacturer of the advanced composites globally. Additionally, many ongoing R&D projects favor the growth of 3D-printed composite parts in this region. Europe is likely to remain the second largest market for 3D-printed composite parts.
Stratasys Ltd., 3D Systems Corporation, Arevo Labs, MarkForged, Inc., Cincinnati Incorporated, Graphite Additive Manufacturing Limited, EnvisionTEC, and CRP Group are some of the well-known 3D printing research labs offering 3D-printed composite parts in the market. Development of an advanced technology, collaboration among composite stakeholders including 3D printers, and development of new applications are some of the key strategies adopted by major players to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Of note, additive technologies market has become a priority in Russia.