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Global 3D printing market sparks manufacturing revolution

Posted: 19 Aug 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D printing? additive manufacturing?

Industrial additive manufacturing, more popularly known as 3D printing is projected to be bringing a big wave in the global manufacturing industry, creating ripples across supply chains in every industry.

In 2008, the global additive manufacturing market was sized at $1.227 billion. By the end of 2013, it reached $3 billion. It is projected to reach $6.1 billion by 2018, and $10.5 billion by 2023, as we can see in the graph below.

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Source: Roland Berger, Statista 2014

3D printing arrives in the Philippines
3D printing or additive manufacturing is said to be transforming the rules of manufacturing. Printers have become more capable, building up digital models layer upon layer from a broader range of materials, including production-grade plastics and metals. This technology has made its way to the Philippines recently, with Norde International Distributors' introduction of the Stratasys 3D printers.

Times of rapid changes

This projection is reflected in the market capitalisation of companies that work in the area of 3D printing. More and more companies are experiencing a transition from analogue to digital manufacturing, recognising cost savings and design benefits.

Additive manufacturing is rapidly replacing traditional manufacturing. This fast transition is pushing traditional manufacturing towards extinction. The sluggishness of traditional manufacturing will also become expensive as ROI and product delivery time are faster in additive manufacturing. Therefore, traditional manufacturing is no longer going to offer advantages to anyone, and it soon will become obsolete.

Leaders in market capitalisation

According to Statista, 3D Systems has reached a market capitalisation of $6.8 million followed by ExOne, a global provider of 3D printing machines and 3D printed products to industrial customers, which describes itself as a pioneer of non-traditional industrial manufacturing, with a market capitalisation of around $609 million. Voxelijet comes in at $537 million and Alphaform at $23 million as of February 2014.

According to a press release, Alphaform reported a revenue increase of around 14.4 per cent to Q1 2014 to $10.20 million compared with the same period of previous year. Recently, Barron's published an article titled "3D Printer Stocks Are Suddenly Hot Again" highlighting how 3D printing and robotics stocks are gaining momentum.

All this is clear evidence of the great support the additive manufacturing industry is receiving, and, as we have seen through the projection above, it will only increase. Additive manufacturing has started to be considered as the answer to restoring manufacturing in some countries.

Mass production of 3D printed parts in sand, metal, or glass in industrial manufacturing is rapidly replacing traditional manufacturing. The already existing mass production of such parts on demand saves time and money for industrial manufacturers. The benefits of additive manufacturing over traditional manufacturing are too many and too good to be ignored.

- Susan Fourtan

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