Additive manufacturing has enhanced the rapid prototyping of complex geometrical structures that are created using computer aided designs (CAD). The long lead times for manufacturing has proven additive manufacturing to be beneficial for small batch size production. The global polymers for additive manufacturing market is estimated to surpass US$ 598.9 million by the end of 2027 in terms of revenue, exhibiting a CAGR of 23.0% during the forecast period (2020 to 2027).
The development of cost-effective and high-performance polymers for 3D printing is driving the market growth of polymers for additive manufacturing. The Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a strong and durable plastic. While, Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a bio-degradable polymer which possess higher strength and, thus, its filament form is majorly used for DLP (digital light processing), and SL (Stereolithography) processes. However, as the industrial demand for 3D printing is increasing at a rapid rate, several players operating in the additive manufacturing market have started developing advanced polymers. For instance, in April 2021, Evonik Industries AG, a Germany-based specialty chemicals manufacturing company, launched its new product line of photopolymers for 3D printing under its INFINAM brand. As per the company, these polymer resins are most suitable for processes such as DLP and SL owing to their toughness and impact-resistant properties. Furthermore, a few of the players are collaborating with other companies to develop a cost-effective SLS printing process for high-performance polymers. For example, in March 2019, Solvay S.A., a specialty chemicals and advanced materials manufacturing company, had collaborated with a Belgian start-up, Aerosint operating in the selective powder deposition systems market, to develop economically viable SLS printing process for high-performance polymers such as polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK).
Among regions, North America held the dominant position in the global polymers for additive manufacturing market in 2019, accounting for 36.2% market share in terms of revenue, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe.
Figure 1. Global Polymers for Additive Manufacturing Market Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2019
The low durability of parts produced by additive manufacturing is hampering the product demand. The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) International Technical Committee F42 has issued a set of manufacturing processes for additive manufacturing using polymers. Some of these are photopolymerization, material extrusion, powder bed fusion, and material jetting. For example, in photopolymerization, parts are built as a layer at a time by tracing laser or UV (Ultraviolet) beam on the liquid polymer. The parts derived using this manufacturing process are not durable as compared to other processes. Moreover, lower tensile strength associated with the polymers such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (~33 MPa) as compared to plastics such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (~55 MPa) has further restrained the demand for polymers in additive manufacturing to some extent.
Polymers for Additive Manufacturing Market Report Coverage
|Base Year:||2019||Market Size in 2019:||US$ 147.6 Mn|
|Historical Data for:||2017 and 2018||Forecast Period:||2020 to 2027|
|Forecast Period 2020 to 2027 CAGR:||23.0%||2027 Value Projection:||US$ 598.9 Mn|
Arkema S.A., Covestro AG, DuPont, Inc., EOS GmbH, Evonik Industries AG, INTAMSYS, Prototal Industries, Stratasys Ltd., BASF SE, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Huntsman International LLC., NatureWorks LLC
|Restraints & Challenges:||
The persistent product development by 3D printing manufacturers is projected to offer lucrative opportunities to players in the near future. For instance, an American-Israeli manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems named Stratasys Ltd. started delivering its polymers to several addictive manufacturing companies through its subsidiary company named Makerbot. The collaboration has permitted MakerBot to launch the METHOD Carbon Fiber Edition polymer in May 2020. This product launch is expected to enable engineers to print strong and accurate parts for manufacturing tools, thereby, creating an opportunity for MakerBot to widen its product portfolio.
Figure 2. Global Polymers for Additive Manufacturing Market Revenue Share (%), By Application- For Electronics, 2019
On the basis of application- for electronics, in 2019, the sensors segment accounted for 36.2% of the revenue share. Precision and elegant techniques are needed in the manufacturing of the sensors, polymers for additive manufacturing process has been utilized in fabrication of sensors in the last few years. Polymers for additive manufacturing has become a common fabrication technique for an extensive range of engineering components in several industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and defense.
Global Polymers for Additive Manufacturing Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
The polymers for additive manufacturing market has faced some negative impact on the supply and manufacturing globally due to the lockdown. Imposition of lockdown resulted in the shutting down of businesses and ceasing of several economic activities for many electronic product manufacturing companies. For instance, two of the prominent polycarbonate manufacturing plants of SABIC and Covestro AG in the U.S. had witnessed shutdown in the initial days of the pandemic which were further restarted in August 2020. Moreover, China one of the major producers of electronic products across the globe, hindrance in the supply chain of raw materials like plastics and chemicals has hampered due to the pandemic and impacted the market growth.
Key players operating in the global polymers for additive manufacturing market include Arkema S.A., Covestro AG, DuPont, Inc., EOS GmbH, Evonik Industries AG, INTAMSYS, Prototal Industries, Stratasys Ltd., BASF SE, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Huntsman International LLC., NatureWorks LLC.
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