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3D Printing Composites Market Takes Off in 2017; Material Sales to Reach $580 by 2026

SmarTech Publishing has just released a new 160-page report showing where the money will be made through the 3D printing composites. This report, “3D-Printed Composite Materials Markets – 2017: An Opportunity Analysis and Ten-Year Forecast,” identifies and quantifies the commercial opportunities presented by implementation of fiber-reinforced composite and nanocomposite materials for 3D printing in major manufacturing sectors. According to the report, total revenues from 3D-printing composites will reach $580 million by 2026.

carbon-fiber-peek-filamentSmarTech Publishing is seeing growing interest and development activities around the use of composites within the 3D printing/additive manufacturing (3DP/AM) community. We believe that such developments are creating new revenue generation opportunities within the 3DP/AM sector as well as in the composites industry itself. 3D-printed composites offer the opportunity to grow the composites out of its current labor-intensive manufacturing processes for production of final parts in the automotive, aerospace, medical and consumer goods industries.

This new report provides estimates of the revenue potential from 3D-printing composites by examining both actual fabrication and notable R&D. Among the materials analyzed from a 3D printing perspective are continuous fiber composites, long-fiber composites, short fiber composites and nanocomposites. Powder bed fusion (PBF) technologies are already fairly established in the composites area, but new 3DP/AM technologies are also beginning to emerge in this area. This report also takes a look at the evolution of production grade 3D-printers.

energicaego_windform_3d-printed-electric-motorcycleTen-year forecasts of 3D-printed composite activity are provided for each primary adoption segment (aerospace, automotive, medical, service bureau and other industries) with breakouts by type of printers, material types, and 3DP technologies. Both revenues ($ millions) and volumes (Kg) are forecasted.

In addition, this report provides an in-depth look at the product/market of the leading firms and startups that are now pursuing the composite AM opportunity. Leading companies in this space that are profiled in this report include: 3D Systems, 3DXTech, Arevo Labs, Black Magic 3D, Cincinnati Incorporated, Composite Manufacturing, DWS, DeltaMed, Advanc3D Materials, colorFabb, CRP Group, EnvisionTEC, EOS, Graphene Labs, HP, Prodways, Proto-pasta, Stratasys, and TreeDFilaments.

bike1Today the use of composites in additive manufacturing is limited. But the upcoming launch of several new technologies able to implement both continuous fiber composites and aligned chopped fiber composites indicates that the industry is about to enter a new graph phase. SmarTech Publishing believes that AM is now viewed in the composites industry as way to streamline and automate manufacturing processes, without sacrificing the benefits offered by composites in terms of weight optimization and strength.

All of these developments, we believe, are positive for the future of 3D-printed composites. As a result, this report will be essential reading for marketing, business development and manufacturing managers to discover where the opportunities are in this evolving market.

From the Composites Report:

composite-parts11Composite powders for powder-bed fusion technologies have been available for a decade and will remain important over the next ten years too. Even by 2026, glass fiber reinforced nylon powder for PBF applications will account for 34 percent of 3D-printed composites. Another 18 percent is expected to derive from shipments of carbon fiber.

SmarTech believes that sales of polymer PBF systems will continue to grow gradually until the end of 2017 and then begin a period of stronger expansion due to increasing use of such systems for “custom” work.

Extrusion-based systems for composites are expected to take off in 2022, however, and by that year the install base of extrusion composite systems will be trending up towards 4,000 systems, reaching more than 6,000 systems by 2026. This growth will occur despite the fact that 3D-printed composites in the automotive sector — potentially the largest for adoption of composite AM manufacturing over the long term – are expected to be confined to luxury, motorsports and custom, high-end production.

Demand for both composite filament and pellet demand is anticipated to grow substantially over the next decade as shown in the Exhibit below.

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Source: SmarTech Publishing

Carbon fiber is the primary opportunity in composite thermoplastic pellets. However, glass fiber composite filaments and pellets are also expected to grow significantly in terms of use. Other materials such as nanoceramics and Aramid fibers are also expected to play a minor role in the composite AM landscape. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may also have a niche role to play here.

 

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