Trend Analysis for the Market and Application Development of 3D Printing

Trend Analysis for the Market and Application Development of 3D Printing

Chin-Ching Yeh*

Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK), Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan

(Received 1 January 2014; Published on line 1 March 2014)
*Corresponding author:
DOI: 10.5875/ausmt.v4i1.597

Abstract: In 2011, the Economist newspaper declared the advent of 3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing (AM), to herald the start of the Third Industrial Revolution. Chris Anderson, originator of the “long-tail theory”, not only authored Makers, a book on3D printing, but also co-founded 3D Robotics to realize his vision for the potential of 3D printing by applying his perspectives embedded in his book. Nevertheless, opposing viewpoints suggest that 3D printing may not be the game changer its proponents claim. The article explores the technical classification and market growth potential of 3D printing, and analyzes the main markets and countries as well as the application scope of 3D printing.

Keywords: 3D printing; Additive Manufacturing; Rapid Prototyping

The Seven Process Techniques of 3D Printing

In 2009, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) officially introduced the term Additive Manufacturing to replace Rapid Prototyping (RP), Rapid Manufacturing (RM), and 3D Printing (3DP), and established a technical committee to stipulate relevant standards. The ASTM collaborated with scholars and classified the AM processinto seven categories, as shown in Table 1, including Vat Photopolymerization, Material Jetting, Binder Jetting, Material Extrusion, Powder Bed Fusion, Sheet Lamination, and Directed Energy Deposition. Each technique coincides with different materials and application markets, but they share the same development objectives which center on supplying diverse materials, increasing production efficiency, improving geometric accuracy and surface roughness, enhancing material and mechanical properties and reducing equipment and material costs.