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3D Printing Trends That Can Boost Profits


These days 3D printing is becoming popular for the way it drives the printing process into new realms. It has become an essential part of many industries, and is loved by designers for the value it provides as an efficient way to prototype new products. Given the rising popularity of 3D printing, this article will highlight the industry trends that will boost profits.

Table of Contents
The market potential of 3D printing
Popular 3D printed items
The bottom line

The market potential of 3D printing

The 3D printing market was valued at USD 13.2 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.1% from 2021 to 2030. Adding to these optimistic trends, specialist firms in the industry have also predicted a 27% average yearly growth rate for the 3D printing market, hitting a market turnover of $115 billion by 2030.

These rapid growth rates are mostly due to the increased usage of 3D printing in prototyping, tooling, and design in the manufacturing and industrial domains. This is due to the rising demand and more adaptable features offered by various modern 3D printers.
Furthermore, the expansion of 3D printing applications into many other fields, such as healthcare, consumer items, and education, will likely be an even bigger driver of the 3D printing industry. And with 3D printers becoming more affordable and widely available, their usage is no longer confined to the traditional manufacturing sector, but is gradually expanding to cover domestic and household usage as well.

Popular 3D printed items

Industrial products

The development of 3D printing for industrial products is mainly driven by the growth of the 3D metal printing industry, which demonstrated a CAGR of 22.9%  from 2021 to 2030, with a market value of $22.6 billion.

Applications for 3D metal printing centered around manufacturing processes such as prototyping, tooling, and creating functional parts for the automotive, aerospace & defense, healthcare, consumer electronics, and construction industries. The Asia Pacific region is the market that is expected to see the most significant growth over the next 5-10 years, in view of the industrial and construction needs of the emerging markets.

The growth of the 3D metal industry is largely due to the fact that the 3D printing process is much faster than traditional manufacturing parts production. This is particularly true for some built-to-spec, uniquely crafted items such as customized gears and shafts. 3D printing offers both flexible and tailored industry solutions as the designs, dimensions and shapes printed can be highly adjustable with the relevant software.
And of course, while metal printers may require a high initial investment, these days 3D metal printers start from a much more economical price, yet are still able to promise high strength and high productivity.

A standard FDM 3D metal printer
A standard FDM 3D metal printer

Fortunately, for those businesses that may struggle with the initial investment needed, there is a good alternative to enter the 3D printing business for industrial products. That is, by hiring a 3D printing service to have your desired 3D printed products delivered directly to your door. Such highly customized options often provide not only flexibility in terms of 3D metal printing material but also versatility in terms of 3D printing technologies.

Medical products

The dentistry industry is the most prominent specialization in the medical field that has embraced 3D printing technology. 3D printers are used for the production of different dental prosthetic devices. The dental 3D printing market is expected to grow by more than two-fold within five years from now, up to $7.9 billion in 2027, from the current estimated market size of $3.1 billion.

Three main factors that propelled this growth include the rise of the cosmetic dentistry in line with the rising worldwide disposable income, increasing tooth loss issues among the world’s aging population, and the fact that 3D printing in dental applications can help to improve the overall speed, throughputs, and quality of dental prosthesis equipment.

The current average market price for a dental-grade 3D printer is typically around $3000 per set according to industry experts. In the wholesale world, however, costs are influenced not only by volume but also by the launch of innovative, lower-cost technologies, such as the introduction of LCD technology-based 3D dental printers. Wholesale level LCD 3D dental-grade printers can be as low as around half the average market price or even way below that.

A 3D printed dental prosthetic device
A 3D printed dental prosthetic device

Fashion items and accessories

The exclusivity and highly customizable nature of 3D printing makes it a good alternative for the fashion industry. Among all types of fashion products, jewelry stands out as the most suitable item for 3D printing and this is in part because of the high growth of the jewelry market world wide, with a CAGR of 12.1% between 2019 to 2026. But it is also due to the way 3D printers match the needs of jewelry designers.

Through the use of computer design software, 3D printers help to substantially reduce the reliance on the otherwise labor-intensive handcrafting process for complex jewelry designs. Furthermore, 3D printing precision technology ensures optimal accuracy and detail, which meets the requirements of jewelry production techniques such as engravings and filigrees. Overall this means that 3D printing has made jewelry production more cost-effective and offers an effective, time-saving solution to designers’ needs.
Similar to dental 3D printers, resin-based printers are most suited for 3D jewelry printing and the emergence of LCD 3D printing technology has opened up more possibilities for lower-cost 3D jewelry printers, for example, this model which is similar to the one featured in the picture below.

A 3D jewelry printer
A 3D jewelry printer

The bottom line

Overall, 3D printers offer a unique solution to many industries worldwide and this will drive the growth of 3D printing market for machines and services. For those interested in entering this market, there are three key products that one should pay attention to in order to gain a competitive edge, which are industrial, medical, and fashion products. And the good news is that the advancement in 3D printing technologies has enabled lower investment possibilities, particularly at the wholesale level, which makes 3D printers more accessible for large and smaller businesses alike. Those interested in capitalizing on this growing market could look into these factors further or check out the range of 3D printing machines available on Alibaba.com.

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