Due to the rising disposable income of people, rapid urbanization, and increasing population, the sales of automobiles have risen sharply, especially in nations such as Brazil, India, Indonesia, and China in the recent years. According to many surveys and industry experts, India and China have recently become the most lucrative automotive markets in the world, in terms of volume, in 2017. The total sales of vehicles reached 4.02 million units and 29.12 million units in India and China respectively in 2017.
This rapid growth of the automotive industry is pushing up the requirement for advanced manufacturing processes such as those based on 3D printing. This technology is being increasingly adopted by manufacturers, especially for designing automotive parts and components that have complex designs and geometries and are therefore, very difficult to manufacture using conventional manufacturing processes. Additionally, the automotive components manufactured with the help of 3D printing are lighter in weights and consumer much lesser energy during manufacturing than the traditionally produced components.
Besides being heavily used for the production of automotive parts and components, 3D printing is also being increasingly used by manufacturers in additive manufacturing applications for attaining better yields and faster production times. Traditionally, additive manufacturing has been based on the subtractive process, in which, the raw material left over from the manufacturing process is reused multiple times. For example, in an automobile manufacturing facility, the metal sheet is first cut and shaped into multiple parts, while the left-over metal is melted again for forming metal plates, so that it can be used again for further production.
The other important factor fueling the requirement for 3D printing materials is the increasing adoption of 3D printing methods for manufacturing customized products. This is mainly because of the growing requirement for mass customization and the ability of 3D printing technology to make the large-scale manufacturing of customized products possible. Because of the growing utilization of 3D printing materials in manufacturing processes, the global 3D printing materials market will exhibit rapid advancement in the future years. Depending on application, the market is categorized into aerospace and defense, automotive, medical and dental, and consumer goods.
Amongst these categories, the aerospace and defense one registered the highest revenue growth in the 3D printing materials market during the last few years. This is credited to the large-scale usage of titanium in the 3D printing of various aircraft prototypes or parts. Titanium, which is an essential component in various aerospace and defense applications, is one the costliest materials required in such production processes. Because of this reason, the category demonstrated high revenue growth in the years gone by.
Globally, the 3D printing materials market recorded huge expansion in North America in the past and this trend is likely to continue in the upcoming years, as per the estimates of P&S Intelligence, a market research firm based in India. This is ascribed to the existence of numerous well-established market players and the rapid rise in the usage of 3D printing technology in product manufacturing and mass customization processes in the region.
Hence, it can be safely said that the demand for 3D printing materials will rise enormously all over the world in the forthcoming years, mainly because of the increasing requirement for advanced manufacturing processes in the several industries such as the automotive industry and the growing public requirement for customized products across the world.