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IDTechEx releases 2022-2032 market report
IDTechEx, a technology company based out of the United Kingdom, predicts that as the 3D printing technology landscape grows, so too will the variety of compatible materials. Polymer, metal, wax, sand, and concrete are a few examples currently on offer.
The technology is expanding from thermoplastics to others such as metal-matrix composites, bio-ceramics, and recycled plastics. The inventory of usable materials expands as end-users demand higher quality product materials. As knowledge spreads about the value of 3D printing, the increased adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) seems more present.
Polymers: A shifting landscape
Polymers are the face of the AM materials market. They are the most widely used and recognizable materials for 3D printing. This creates the perception that polymer 3D printing is only suitable for applications like prototyping. Newer, higher-performing polymers are changing this view.
One such polymer is fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites (FRPs). Research into carbon fiber opens the gateway for complex composite parts. Beyond composites are high-temperature thermoplastics. Other polymers garnering interest include foams, recycled plastics, bio-based polymers, and nanocarbons. These developments indicate a shift to the face of AM materials.
Metals: Moving beyond powders
Powders are the dominant feedstock in metal AM. One lower-cost alternative is metal wire. Another is metal injection molding pellets, which have more efficient extrusion properties. Lastly, bound metal paste is seeing some traction as a safer alternative to powder. These emerging feedstocks will likely lead to continued growth in 3D printing materials.
To view the full IDTechEx 3D Printing Materials Market 2022-2032 report, please visit: https://www.idtechex.com/en/research-report/3d-printing-materials-market-2022-2032/873