Why is the global filament material market expected to grow significantly?
The research firm Ameco Research has just released a report on the global 3D printing filament market – they have predicted that from 2017 to 2024, the market will grow from $ 255 million to $ 1,189 million, which represents a growth rate of 25.8%. We know that filament in additive manufacturing is the most popular material today, as a result of the most popular technology being filament extrusion (FDM). This technology was developed and patented by the giant Stratasys. When their patent expired, many companies had the opportunity of developing their own equipment based on this same technology. The market for FDM 3D printers grew and naturally the filament market followed.
Ameco Research based its predictions on historical data based on news, articles, publications, annual reports, white papers and other secondary sources, as well as talking with the key opinion leaders of the market. They identified the key driver behind the growth predicted as being the growing usage in a large variety of applications. The research company observed a shift towards eco-friendly plastic over petrochemical based plastics. Accordingly, this should increase investment in 3D printing across the globe.
In terms of filament types, the ABS material held the largest market share of global 3D printing filament material market in 2017. On the other hand, it is PLA that is predicted to grow most over the forecast period. Unlike ABS, PLA is biodegradable; it is manufactured using renewable raw materials such as cornstarch. On the other hand, ABS is a thermoplastic that contains a base of elastomers based on polybutadiene that make it more flexible and resistant to shocks. It is PLA’s biodegradable eco-friendly property that should propel its growth according to the report. Moreover, it is the industrial segment that represents the largest end-user market for 3D printing filament material in 2017 and it is expected that its dominance will continue over the forecast period.
North America continues to be the largest region for the growth of 3D printing filament materials market – this can be explained by the presence of the largest players of 3D printing there. However, Asia-Pacific region is also experiencing an upward trend and is expected to grow at significant growth rate over the forecast period thanks to the growing number of 3D printing players and raw material providers in that region.
After the explosion in sales of filament 3D printers, many chemicals company saw the opportunity to expand their production of thermoplastics used in 3D printing filaments – as seen with the significant investments and ventures of companies like BASF, SABIC, Mitsubishi, among others. The leading players in the global market were identified by the report and include Filabot, Evonik Industries, Voxeljet AG, Solvay AG, LG Chem, Markforged, Inc., Carbon, Inc., Proto Labs, Inc., Materialise NV, etc.
The full report is available on Ameco Research’s website HERE.
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