SmarTech Publishing, a provider of industry analysis and market forecasting data to the additive manufacturing industry, published in its latest study Polymer Powder Bed Fusion 3D Printing Markets 2018, that rapid evolution of the once niche polymer powder bed fusion 3D printing segment, combined with strong demand for industrial production solutions for polymer 3D printed parts, will result in powder bed fusion technology generating $2.4B in hardware revenues by 2027. The current growth path makes polymer powder bed fusion technology the fastest growing of all polymer 3D printing technology groups, growing at close to double the total industry average for hardware revenue opportunities.
From the Report:
• Polymer powder bed fusion technology has long been regarded as perhaps the most readily available 3D polymer printing technology which bridges the gap between typical rapid prototyping printing and real manufacturing of end use components. But just like the other polymer 3D printing technologies, what once was standard in the powder bed fusion segment is now changing, with a great influx of competitors to challenge the historic leaders, and entirely new methods of sintering polymer powders based on a combination of inkjet and infrared heating rather than lasers.
• For the classic and still widely employed laser sintering process, polymer technologies are benefitting greatly from the efforts in the metal powder bed fusion segment with regards to industrialization –and area where metal technologies suddenly have leapfrogged polymer printers. These efforts have resulted in new and increasingly prevalent polymer powder bed fusion hardware featuring automated powder handling and unpacking, removable build modules for greater uptime during the cooling cycle, and greater emphasis on high temperature printing capabilities to expand material options.
• The combined geographic region of Asia Pacific, including China, will challenge the North American and European regions for investment into powder bed fusion 3D printers, and is expected to spend more on powder bed fusion systems than any other region in 2019.