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Plastics in 3D Printing Markets: A Ten-Year Opportunity Forecast

  • ID: 2905354
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • 108 Pages
  • SmarTech Markets Publishing LLC
until Dec 31st 2019
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3D Printing to Generate $1.4 billion in Plastics Sales in 2019


  • 3D Systems
  • Cytec
  • Fenner Drives
  • Lehman & Voss
  • Mitsui
  • Solid Concepts
  • MORE
The quantity and quality of plastic materials available for 3D printing systems are key determining factors in the number of 3D printer purchases. These materials include especially ABS and PLA, but also include acrylate resins, epoxy acrylate resins, and nylon powder materials.

Many 3D printer firms are racing to fill out their plastic material portfolios and are using them to create competitive advantages. At the same time, major materials companies are also starting to see 3D printing as a profitable niche market worth jumping into now, with the promise of large opportunities down the road.

This report analyzes all the key opportunities in the market for plastic materials used in 3D printing and how they are likely to change in the future. Among the topics covered in the report are:

- Novel plastics for 3D printing: This report assesses opportunities in newer plastic materials categories, including polycarbonate, polystyrene, TPU, PET, PBA, PVA, POM, alternative bio-based plastics, transparent materials, flexible materials, and nano-enhanced plastics.

- Plastics as a source of competitive advantage for 3D printer firms: Many OEMs are looking plastic materials as source of substantial revenues over the next few years. This has led to 3D printing firms acquiring materials development companies. The future role of the OEMs as materials suppliers is critically examined in this report including the ways in which OEMs leverage their control over equipment design and distribution channels to secure material sales for their machines, as well as the role of proprietary materials and cartridges.

- The future of supply chains for 3D printed plastics: We examine the future of current material supply chains for the key plastics used today in 3D printing.

- The rise of independent 3D printing plastics suppliers and what this means: Independent companies have arisen to offer high-performance plastic materials for 3D printers. Experienced 3D printers users are flocking to independent manufacturers for lower-priced materials. What will this mean for revenue models of 3D printing OEMs, large materials companies, and the independent materials suppliers themselves?

The author provides the most complete and accurate market forecasts for plastic materials in the 3D printing industry. Forecasts are built off up our extensive industry database that is second to none in terms of quality and completeness. Our conservative forecasts are based off of the most up-to-date information available, which is gathered first and foremost from primary source experts in the plastics field. Our forecasts are presented as logically and transparently as possible, allowing our customers to understand how we came to the conclusion that we did.

Customers who purchase this report will come away with a better understanding of how to make money in 3D printing plastic materials market. Decision-makers will be better armed to implement strategies in the plastic material market that will secure long-term revenue growth for their companies.
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  • 3D Systems
  • Cytec
  • Fenner Drives
  • Lehman & Voss
  • Mitsui
  • Solid Concepts
  • MORE
Executive Summary

E.1 Characterizing Materials Opportunities in AM Plastics
E.2 Assessment of Current Distribution Channels
E.2.1 Manufacturer Websites
E.2.2 Online Market Places
E.2.3 Individual Resellers and Service Bureaus
E.3 Equipment Manufacturers' Hold on the Plastics Industry
E.4 Independent Materials Companies Making a Mark
E.5 Case Studies in Other Material Industries
E.6 Establishing Standards for Materials Forms and Processing Techniques
E.7 Materials that Work Well with One Another
E.8 Price Outlook for Plastic Materials
E.9 Matching Supply with Linearly Increasing Material Demands
E.9 Summary of Ten-Year Market Forecasts

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to this Report
1.1.1 Nylon: Novel Materials and New Suppliers
1.1.2 Photocurable Resins: Up from Prototyping
1.1.3 ABS and PLA: Most Visible 3DP Materials
1.2 Goals and Scope of this Report
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.4 A Note on Terminology
1.5 Plan of this Report
Summary Forecasts

Chapter Two: ABS
2.1 Material Overview
2.2 ABS Application Overview
2.3 ABS Supply Chain
2.4 Raw Material Inputs
2.5 Current Industry Capacity
2.5.1 Accessing Future Potential for Economies of Scale
2.6 Major Players in ABS
2.7 Not all ABS is Equal
2.7.1 Sometimes Good Is Good Enough Hobbyist Customer Segments
2.8 Augmented ABS is the Key to Protecting Your Position and Targeting Serious Hobbyists
2.9 Emerging Market Trends in ABS Filament
2.9.1 Material and Raw Material Branding
2.9.2 Quickly Expanding Color Options
2.9.3 Half-kilogram Spools
2.10 Ten-year Market Forecasts for ABS Materials in AM

Chapter Three: PLA
3.1 Material Overview
3.2 PLA Application Overview
3.3 PLA Supply Chain
3.4 Major Players in PLA
3.5 Current Industry Capacity
3.5.1 Accessing Future Potential for Economies of Scale
3.6 ABS vs. PLA: PLA Offers Three Distinct Advantages
3.7.1 Benefits of PLA for Certain Consumer Groups
3.8 Opportunities in Enhanced PLA
3.9 Ten-year Market Forecasts for PLA Materials in AM

Chapter Four: Resins
4.1 Material Overview
4.2 Application overview
4.3 Resin supply chain
4.4 Raw Material Inputs
4.4.1 Epoxy Additives
4.4.2 The Presence of Antimony-Based Photo Initiators
4.5 Strategic Implications of Different Curing Sources
4.5.1 Manufacturers Use of Curing Sources to Create Barriers To Entry In Materials
4.6 Current Industry Capacity
4.7 Major Players In Resin
4.7.1 Personal Printing Resin Manufacturers
4.7.2 Will the Big Players Enter the Personal SLA Resin Market?
4.8 Pushing in the end part production
4.9 3D Systems vs. DSM Somos and Other Patent Issues Surrounding Resins
4.10 Ten-year Market Forecasts for Resin Materials

Chapter Five: Nylon Powders
5.1 Opportunity Outlook
5.2 Applications Overview
5.3 Challenges for Nylon 3D Printing Materials
5.4 Nylon Powder Supply Chain and Major Players
5.4.1 Nylon 12
5.4.2 Nylon 11
5.4.3 Nylon 6
5.5 Raw Material Inputs
5.6 Current Industry Capacity
5.7 Major Players
5.7.1 Differentiated Producers and Re-sellers
5.7.2 Chinese Nylon Manufacturers
5.8 Opportunities in New Types of Nylon
5.9 Environmental Concerns for 3DP Nylon Powders
5.10 Ten-year Market Forecasts for Nylon Materials in AM

Chapter Six: Alternative Materials
6.1 High Performance Thermoplastics (PEEK, PEKK, PEK)
6.2 Polycarbonate Materials
6.3 Polystyrene/HIPS Materials
6.4 Thermoplastic Polyurethane
6.4.1 TPU for Consumer 3D Printers
6.5 Polypropylene
6.6 PET and Other Biodegradables
6.7 Transparent Plastic Materials
6.8 Flexible Plastic Materials
6.9 Opportunities In Mid-Grade Thermoplastic Powders for Laser Sintering Equipment

About the Analyst
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report

List of Exhibits
Exhibit E-1: Summary 10-Year Forecast for Polymer Material Market By 3D Printer Class
Exhibit E-2: Summary 10-Year Forecast For Total Polymer Material Market By 3D Printer Class
Exhibit 1-1: Summary 10-Year Forecast for Polymer Material Market By 3D Printer Class
Exhibit 1-2: Summary 10-Year Forecast for Total Polymer Material Market By 3D Printer Class
Exhibit 1-3: Summary 10-Year Forecast for 3D Printing Polymer Demand By Polymer Class
Exhibit 1-4: Summary 10-Year Forecast For 3D Printing Polymer Markets By Polymer Class
Exhibit 1-5: Summary 10-Year Forecast For Personal 3D Printing Material Demand By Polymer Class
Exhibit 1-6: 10-Year Forecast For Professional 3D Printing Material Demand By Polymer
Exhibit 2-1: Most Common ABS Filament Additives Classes Used and Their Strategic Implications
Exhibit 2-2 Common Fillers and Their Strategic Importance
Exhibit 3-1: PLA Pro’s and Con’s vs. ABS
Exhibit 3-2: PLA Additives and Their Effects
Exhibit 3-3: Enhanced PLA Filament Available on the Market
Exhibit 3-4: 10-Year Forecast for the Total PLA Demand for the 3D Printing Market
Exhibit 4-1: SL Curing Sources and Strategic Hold-ups
Exhibit 4-2: Advanced SL Resins Capable of FFF Tests
Exhibit 4-2: 10-Year Forecast for the Total Resin Demand
Exhibit 5-1: Opportunities for Laser Sintered Nylon Components in Aerospace
Exhibit 5-2: 10-Year Forecast for the Total Nylon Demand
Exhibit 5-3: 10-Year Forecast for the Total Nylon Demand by Polymer Type
Exhibit 6-1: Comparison of High-Grade Thermoplastics Available For Laser Sintering AM Processes
Exhibit 6-2: 10-Year Forecast for the Total High-Grade Thermoplastics Demand
Exhibit 6-4: 10-Year Forecast for the Total PC Demand
Exhibit 6-6: 10-Year Forecast For The Total PS Demand
Exhibit 6-8: 10-Year Forecast for the Total TPU Demand
Exhibit 6-10: 10-Year Forecast for the Total PP Demand
Exhibit 6-12: Alternative Bio-Plastic Being Explored For 3D Printing
Exhibit 6-13: 10-Year Forecast For the Total Other Bio-Degradables Demand
Exhibit 6-15: Transparent Materials Available for 3DP
Exhibit 6-16: 10-Year Forecast for the Other Mid-Grade Thermoplastic Powder Demand

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • 3D Systems
  • Cytec
  • Fenner Drives
  • Lehman & Voss
  • Mitsui
  • Solid Concepts
  • MORE
According to “Plastics In 3D Printing Markets: A Ten-Year Opportunity Forecast,” a new report from the industry analysts SmarTech Markets Publishing, the market for polymers used in 3D printing has already reached $310 million and will grow to $1.4 billion by 2019. With a rapidly growing user base in the consumer and professional market, SmarTech believes that high value-added plastic materials used by 3D printers represent a high-margin opportunity for materials companies, equipment manufacturers and others in the 3D printing supply chain.

About the Report

This report analyzes key opportunities in for plastic materials used in 3D printing and how they are likely to change. Among the materials covered in this report are ABS, PLA, PC, PP resins, PS, nylon, acrylate resins, nylon and thermo-plastics. Ten-year forecasts are provided for each of these materials both in value and volume terms. Also, the report covers plastic materials for industrial, professional and consumer grade machines and these are also forecast separately. SmarTech’s reality-based forecasts utilize the most up-to-date information available, and this is gathered first and foremost from primary sources in 3D printing and materials sector.

This report also looks at the key players in the 3D-printed polymers space including major materials firms, equipment suppliers and independent materials suppliers. Among the firms discussed in this report are:

3D Systems, Arkema, BASF, Bayer, Beijing TierTime, Chi Mei, CRP Technologies, Cytec, DSM Somos, DuPont, EnvisionTEC, EOS, Evonik, ExcelTec, Fenner Drives, Formlabs, GE, Hitachi, Hunan Farsoon, Huntsman, KDI Polymer, Lehman & Voss, LG Chem, Lockheed Martin, MakerBot, Mango Materials, Materialise, mCor, Mitsui, Nike, Oxford Performance Materials, PURAC Biomaterials, Rhodia, SABIC, Sartomer, SK Chemicals, Solid Concepts, Solvay, Stratasys, Thyssen Krupp, Toray, Teijin, and Victrex.

From the report:

In personal 3D printing, SmarTech sees the biggest opportunities in developing more robust ABS and PLA print materials for the serious hobbyist and off-time engineer class. More durable polymers like TPU, polycarbonate, and nylon will also win market share over the next ten years. Meanwhile, polymer powders for laser sintering may represent the overall largest opportunity in plastic materials.

Meanwhile, new materials that help professionals achieve distinct performance benefits with 3D-printed parts can be used to justify higher materials prices. Specifically, materials that offer lighter and better performing aerospace components, reduce sub-assemblies, or enable customized medical implants and dental solutions will provide a lot of value to the relevant market segments.

However, in weight terms, three types of plastics -- ABS, PLA and nylon -- will continue to account for the biggest share of the 3D-printed materials market throughout the forecasting period covered by the report Together these plastics will account for more than 13,000 metric tons in 2019.

For now, equipment manufacturers control the supply chain for 3D printed materials and this has reduced the opportunities for large materials companies. Nonetheless, some material companies are partnering with smaller equipment manufacturers or even developing their own 3D printing equipment. And some companies like CRP Technologies and DSM Somos are finding business by developing specialized materials for the automotive and dental applications.

Despite the growth in 3D printing, material demand will not increase to the degree needed to drive major economies of scale through larger batch sizes. This dynamic will champion materials that can be produced economically in smaller batches, such as resins. One solution to this problem has been taken by Evonik with its nylon 12 powders; to produce the powder in large batches and store the powder in inventory until it is used up. However the inefficiencies in this method are clear; large inventories eat up working capital.

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- 3D Systems
- Arkema
- Bayer
- Beijing TierTime
- Chi Mei
- CRP Technologies
- Cytec
- DSM Somos
- DuPont
- EnvisionTEC
- Evonik
- ExcelTec
- Fenner Drives
- Formlabs
- GE
- Hitachi
- Hunan Farsoon
- Huntsman
- KDI Polymer
- Lehman & Voss
- LG Chem
- Lockheed Martin
- MakerBot
- Mango Materials
- Materialise
- mCor
- Mitsui
- Nike
- Oxford Performance Materials
- PURAC Biomaterials
- Rhodia
- Sartomer
- SK Chemicals
- Solid Concepts
- Solvay
- Stratasys
- Thyssen Krupp
- Toray
- Teijin
- Victrex
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown