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3D Printing Filament Industry Leaders Discuss Opportunities and Challenges
Image courtesy of Filament.Directory

3D Printing Filament Industry Leaders Discuss Opportunities and Challenges

Although it started almost as a game, today 3D printing filament manufacturing for low-cost 3D printers is an industry. So much so that even giants such as SABIC, Verbatim (Mitsubishi) and others have begun to target it, while other large companies such as Covestro (Bayer) and Eastman Chemical partnered directly with companies operating in the low-cost 3D printing arena. Not to mention that NatureWorks, the largest producer of PLA in the world, has recently begun focusing specifically on 3D printing.

In this expert roundup we have decided to focus on some of the people that first, and before many others, have contributed their expertise and have built the filament industry’s foundations. The people in this list include pioneers such as Ruud Rouleaux, who founded colorFabb and built it into one of the world’s largest filament manufacturers, and Thomas Martzall, who was among the first to offer advanced nylons for extrusion 3D printing.

Dario Negrelli Pizzigoni, Josef Dolecek and the team a FiloAlfa, along with Matt Howlett from 3DXTech and Thomas Martzall from Taulman 3D, have been at the forefront of advanced and innovative materials development. Others like EUMAKERS, PrintALot, 3D Printlife, Formfutura and eSun (these last two are not yet included but will be in future updates) have brought filament 3D printing to more people and in more parts of the world than ever, targeting specifically consumer and the education segment.

As 3D printing expands it also evolves more and more into a true industrial production newer companies continue to evolve their offer and technological capabilities. Although each company focuses on specific material and specific customer segments (Industrial, Professional, Consumers, Makers and Education), all the experts who participate in this article report explosive growth and are very optimistic for the future. With this roundup we asked them where this industry can and will arrive.

Jump to filament expert:

 

ColorFabb was founded by Ruud Rouleaux. As an expert in the field of additives and masterbatches for the plastic industry he set out to develop high-quality 3D printing filament. Back in the summer of 2012 the first experiments started, which gradually led to the official launch of the brand Colorfabb in March 2013. Now Colorfabb is run by a multidisciplinary team and is considered to be one of the top leading and most innovative companies in the filament manufacturing segment.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“Designing new innovative materials, keeping a fair level of differentiation with the competition at reasonable pricing.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

“We have been growing double digit every year. B2B / industrial materials will facilitate more growth every year.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“Our primary customers are the OEM’s (3D printer builders), followed by the consumer and education sectors.”

colorFabb Chart B Filament Export Roundup

4. Which are the materials you sell most of?

Co-polyester (PET family) , PLA, Specials (Metal Wood), Composites.

colorFabb Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“We need to be able to provide full ecosystem solutions: advanced materials designed for 3D Printing, better interfaces in CAD software for better design, drying solutions.”

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3DXTECH, located in West Michigan, just outside of Grand Rapids, was started in 2014 by Matt Howlett to focus on specialty formulations. Leveraging 25 years of experience in the high-performance polymers industry, 3DXTECH develops solutions to difficult, technical end-use applications.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?  

“We can make filaments that are beyond what most printers can utilize.  The market is full of what I affectionately call “Yoda head printers”.  The key to utilizing functional materials is higher-performance 3D printers that can offer multi-material printing (at least model and support), heated bed and chamber, 400+ °C extruders, and at least a 300mm x 300mm x 300mm envelope.  There are a few out there, but most are rough at best.  Once the baffle patent expires that Stratasys holds, there should be some decent printers out there that utilize similar tech.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?  

“We have grown almost 300% year-over-year since we started 2014.  We started by focusing on higher-performance materials and the market is finally catching on that PLA is predominantly for toys whereas specialty-compounded materials can actually satisfy real-world demands.  We just put plans in place to open a new 20,000 sq ft facility in June 2018 that will be focused exclusively on extruding filaments and printing production quality and quantity parts.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“We supply materials to a wide array of customers, including Lockheed, NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Panasonic, Apple, Samsung, GM, Jabil, Intel, Raytheon and others. Our main target market is industrial since these are the companies that require performance and quality vs. the consumer market that generally values low-cost over performance or even quality. The general purpose materials market is a mess in my opinion. There are companies that sell solely on price even if their products could potentially command a premium based on their performance. Some PLA is actually pretty good stuff, but they sell it for dirt cheap and it’s out of stock half the time. Selling at a premium based on performance and quality is a foreign concept to them. I have personally visited a number of filament plants in China over the last 4 years and some of their more experienced machine operators make $20/day.  My operators have mortgages and we provide benefits such as healthcare coverage. 3DXTech has no interest in competing with these types of manufacturers, so we will continue to invest in materials and processes that push the limits of thermal, mechanical, electrical, and chemical performance. These will be much more difficult to knock-off and industrial customers are less-likely to accept premium performance products from manufacturers who undersold their products to begin with (especially the aerospace, semi-con, and defense customers — which are at the heart of our business).”

3DXTECH
4. Which are the materials you sell most of?

3DXTECH

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“It is already becoming more widely adopted by businesses large and small because, we believe, the advancement in materials technology has allowed for the manufacture of more functional / performance parts.”

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TreeD Filaments, founded by polymer industry veteran Dario Negrelli Pizzigoni, strives to create filaments that are the easiest to print while achieving the new standard in performance. To reach this result the company’s team put all their passion and know how in the filaments production, giving the most reliable and efficient filaments on the market. Every single compound of materials is accurately tested in the factory, made ready to be printed with the majority of printers out there. The use of first choice raw materials gives the best repeatability in 3D printing, time over time, spool over spool.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“I faced a lot of challenges but most of all making people understand the benefits of using plastics specifically for 3D printing. Many think 3D printing is same as traditional technologies, such as injection molding: 3D is not the same. We made a guide to explain this but people don’t like read, so they continue to ask us the same things.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing? 

“When we started to build our technology, the market was too young but this year we are beginning to get some  satisfaction, as the market is finally coming of age, for us and for our filaments too.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“Our Customers are all in the industrial manufacturing and professional sectors, all others only represent a very small quantity. Consumer and educational customers are serviced by our resellers. Technical and professional industry customers are generally our direct customers.

TreeD Chart B Filament Export Roundup

4. Which are the materials you sell most of?

“I can tell you off the bat that PLA represents about 3% and ABS represents 8% of all the polymerswe sell. For the others, it is very difficult since we’ve more than 25 polymers in our portfolio. I need a lot more time to give you the exact numbers for all our polymers, sorry.”

TreeD Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“Good question. The 3D market is young and fast, but technical and commercial dynamics are always the same, for all kinds of markets. More time must pass to give you a correct answer. Many things have changed during the last two years, a better definition of the markets is coming, desktop and professional, general market and more defined sectors of application. Educational can be the key, a new generation of people that use 3D printers as a standard technology, safety and repeatable. The market is too chaotic at this moment to do make choice, safety and repeatable. Today only special markets, like dental, and jewelry, have defined specific polymers and printers.”

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PrintaLot was born from the need for quality filament at a competitive price, locally produced in Argentina. The company understands that we are facing a paradigm shift in the production of objects and strives to be part of it. PrintaLot believe that the relationship with customers is fundamental and that it is important to grow together. Filaments portfolio includes ABS, PLA, PLA MAX, PLA 3Di, PC/ABS, flexible and HIPS.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“The biggest challenge is to know and adapt ourselves to the wide variety of plastic that exists, being able to bring each customer the perfect material for its required application. 3D printing makes possible to customize objects in few quantities and for different applications, from a hobbist who prints toys to denstist that print surgical guides. The filament manufacturer has to adapt its installations and processes in order to produce the required material.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

“We began operations in 2014 and experienced 600% in 2015. This was more stabilized in 2016, when sales grew by 215%. So far this year we are doing even better with growth at 250%. We are projecting an interannual growth of 200% on 2018.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“Our main target is consumers, followed by the professional sector. Then we have the industrial manufacturing adopters and finally the education sector.”

PrintALot Chart A Filament Export Roundup

4. Which are the materials you sell most of: PLA, ABS, PET, nylon, CarbonFiber/Glass Fiber Composite, Elastomers (TPE/TPU), Advanced Plastics (PEEK/PAEK, PEKK) or Other (ASA, HIPS, PP, PC, etc,.)?

“Our number one materials is PLA, followed by ABS and elastomers. We are currently developing nylon and PET but have not yet launched it commercially.”

PrintALot Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“In our country, this technology needs to be more widespread to everyone. This is being made writing articles, participating in shows, giving classes, etc.”

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FiloAlfa is a business unit of Ciceri de Mondel, a historic company that has invested its know-how in the production of plastics, in the creation of high-quality 3D printing filaments.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“Leveraging Ciceri de Mondel’s decades of experience in plastic extrusion we considered, in 2013, to give birth to our FILOALFA 3D business unit, a “binding decision”. Our extrusion expertise helped us in the development and planning of the filament extrusion lines, since extruding filaments is “our thing”. The biggest challenges we face every day the selection of new polymers suitable for 3D printing. To enhance our research and development capabilities we cooperate with two well-known firms of the Polymers Industry and with two top Italian Universities “Università di Pavia” and “Politecnico di Milano”. The challenge is to keep developing filaments with higher mechanical and chemical property that answer the 3D print market’s demands, fulfilling higher standards of reliability and with a special focus on the increasing importance of the circular economy.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

“In the last 3 years FILOALFA grew at an approximate average annual rate of 20% while during 2017 new products are boosting sales and we forecast an annual growth rate of 30%. According to the market main researches, the 3D printing market is expected to grow at an annual rate of approximately of 25% between 2017 and 2023. Product innovation, customization, reduction in the cost of desktop 3D printers, and the introduction of new materials are the major drivers for the growth of the market. As far as our filaments are concerned we do not expect such a rate growth for the more well-known products, such as PLA filaments. However, we expect the market for other materials to grow at such a rate or more, driven by the increasing demand for new biomaterials and for specialized materials in emerging applications. 3D printing has started penetrating into new verticals, such as electronics and biomedical. The aerospace industry holds a promising potential for the market in the coming future. Additionally, the strong government support to the Industry 4.0 can help the Italian 3D market, as well as the needs of the education system.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“As filaments manufacturer, and thanks to decades of experience in the plastic extrusion, our customers spread from designers and architects to industries, from makers and fab-labs to schools and universities. Our biggest customers we are a large number of important representatives of the Italian panorama of 3D printer producers, with which we maintain a historic and great collaboration. Among our main clients and collaborators, we are happy to be able to boast of several universities, such as “Università di Pavia” and “Politecnico di Milano”, as well as research centers such as CNR (National Research Centre). An important contribution to the field of research and development is also given by many Italian companies that are always audacious and ready to look for new solutions to traditional technical problems. Finally, we are happy to sponsor some artistic projects such as prof. Alessandra Angelini 3D installation in collaboration with Olivetti and TIM and MADE FOR BRASIL where we are a part of the project for the production of the winning chandelier designed to be printed in 3D.

4. Which are the materials you sell most of?

“We have divided the materials into 6 main families and we have reported the sales for each family. These include 3 types of ABS, ADV which includes HIPS, GRAFYLON, CONDUCTIVE, AV0 (flame resistant ABS), ASP (less retraction), ASA, PC/ABS, PBT, VetroAlfa (transparent copolymer, butadiene-styrene). We also have NYN (nylon), PET (PET-G, we don’t use PET), PLA: including new developments, TPU with 5 kind of shore (55D, 43D, 90A, 80A, 27D medical). In the last year the sales of TPU, and ADV are increased”

FiloAlfa Chart A Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?”

“Our opinion is that, in order to be more widely adopted by industries, filaments have yet to become more performing, and we keep working in this direction. On the desktop side we think the “plug and play” solution could be the winning choice. To achieve these result some more work need probably to be done on the software side, we think that each printer needs to have its optimized software.”

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Fillamentum is a brand name of high-quality filaments for 3D printing, developed and manufactured by Parzlich in Czech Republic. The company founded by Josef Dolecek produces filaments in a wide range of colors and special limited editions. Development is powered by experts with many years of experience in the plastics industry and especially with 3D printing technologies. Portfolio includes classic polymers, like ABS or PLA, and also special materials, such as ASA, HIPS, PVA, Elastic&soft and Timberfill.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“Historically the 3D printing was used for prototyping and there was not demand for wide range of materials, even with special properties. Now, also due to high improvement of 3D printers and related software and massive commercialization, there is a number of professional users who demand new materials as well. And the challenge is to bring new functional 3D printing materials on time.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

“We actually started production of 3D printing materials 4 years ago, it was in time of early development a 3D printing business. Theree was demand just for PLA and ABS in wide color range – the primal market was just for hobby makers and prototypers. But 2 years ago first demands for technically advanced materials came .. and we reacted developing and introducing ASA filament.The technical filament series now contents Nylon and Nylon composites as well.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“The biggest sector we serve is still the hobby/makers sector. But we have a certain number of industrial customers, mostly big international companies that use special filaments also in their production.”

Fillamentum Chart A Filament Export Roundup

4. Which are the materials you sell most of?

“The majority is still in easily usable materials like PLA and ABS, but the biggest hike of sales we recorded from ASA and TPU filament – which were developed together with our industrial partners. We did not consider PETG as perspective material and work on our version of CPE (copolyesters) with improved properties and functionality. However we officially did not introduce our PC/ABS and its variants for retail, we supply a certain amount of these filaments for our professional partner and these materials are used for prototyping in automotive. We have technically solved solutions for high melt engineering polymers like PEEK, PPS and PEI and wait for sufficient demand.”

Fillamentum Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“The most important is education and evangelization of professionals. A lot of especially older engineers in the industrial sphere are skeptical about 3D printing possibilities and it is a bit limit for faster adoption of 3D printing. They were educated by standard processes (subtractive) and the 3D printing is still considered as kind of toy by many of them. And of course reliability of process – there is still a lot of faulty prints today, so further improvement is necessary.”

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Founded by Thomas Martzall, in six months, starting October 2013, Taulman3D went from a single web shop to a major global reseller of advanced, technical filaments for 3D printing. In October 2013 the company released its Nylon 618 Co-Polymer filament and has since continued to release new nylon based filament including Nylon 645, T-Glase (Nylon 810), Bridge and more.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?
“Acquiring the raw pellets and having them extruded to specification in a 2.85mm or 1.75mm line. Our materials are not commodity materials, but special high strength materials chemically batched specifically for 3D Printing. Very large Chemical Co’s are involved and while we’re a great customer for them, we’re extremely small in comparison.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?
“We released Nylon 645 three years ago and Alloy 910 two years ago. At that time, shipping about 600 spools every ten days. We now ship one ton of materials every five days worldwide!”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“Definitely the manufacturing sector as our materials have high strength, durability and high chemical resistance. While most of the sales in t-glase is for Architecture, the t-glase translucents are widely used in esthetic prints for consumer and education.”

4. Which are the materials you sell most of?

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?
“For the consumer, the most important issue to address is the reduction in print failures. For the industry we need  a much better HotEnds and Slicers. For Professionals and DIY’s, again, they also need a much better HotEnd and Slicer.”

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3D Printlife is the leading US manufacturer of innovative, eco-friendly 3D printing filaments.  The forward-thinking Los Angeles based firm saw a need for a “green” 3D printing filament option, which sparked the launch of their flagship product, ENVIRO ABS.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“Continued development of new, innovative, eco-friendly materials, and raising brand awareness.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

“Three years ago we were importing and reselling filaments from China to bring low-cost options to consumers. Now we are manufacturing our own proprietary eco-friendly filaments at our medical grade extrusion facility in the US. The potential of this market is unlimited. It seems almost inevitable that eventually every home, school, and business will use 3D printing in some way.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

“Education is our largest sector because we have put our greatest effort into it.”

3D Printlife Chart A Filament Export Roundup

4. Which are the materials you sell most of: PLA, ABS, PET, nylon, CarbonFiber/Glass Fiber Composite, Elastomers (TPE/TPU), Advanced Plastics (PEEK/PAEK, PEKK) or Other (ASA, HIPS, PP, PC, etc,.)?

“We sell PLA (80%) and ABS (20%). We will soon introduce BioPETG (eco-friendly PETG) and new elastomers: YOGA Flex (biodegradable semi-flexible) & ULTRA Flex (biodegradable flexible)”

3D Printlife Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“Adoption rates for new technologies have been steadily increasing for decades, but 3D printing has taken longer as the technical requirements are much more involved than setting the timer on a VCR. For me the two key factors for 3D printer adoption are ease of use and content. First, once affordable desktop 3D printers are as simple to use and maintain as a microwave oven, or that infamous VCR timer, consumer adoption should increase quite a bit. Until there is a useful and complete catalogue of 3D content, however, including both open source and licensed IP, a 3D printer will be useless to most consumers who lack the ability to create their own print files. Why buy an iPod if there’s no content on iTunes, or a DVD player if there’s no Blockbuster? Once these two conditions are met consumer adoption rates should cross the 50% mark almost immediately.”

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EUMAKERS is a newly established branch of Rigenera Biocompound, a leader in the plastics sector. The company was founded in early 2014 and aims to become a leader in Italy and Europe for the production and marketing of filaments for 3D printing. Eumakers, started in early 2014, produces high-quality 3D printing filaments, providing also 3D printers, 3D scanners and all the related printing services.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

“We aim to create a wide network of distributors, in order to guarantee a capillary presence in the market. This, together with the creation of ready-to-use materials, is the best guarantee for our customers to receive, in the faster way possible, high-quality products with high-quality support service. We tested this method, during our first two years of commercial activity, in Italy and then in Europe, reaching the number of +150 official resellers. Currently, we’re working to extend this network outside the EU as well.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

“Over the last 3 years, we have doubled our catalogue (becoming the manufacturer with the largest range of colors among PLA filaments) as well as our sales/year. It’s really difficult to forecast how the market will change because it is strictly connected with the evolutions of the technology. However, we believe that the largest increases will be connected to education and industrial sector (especially, medical and automotive).”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

Eumakers Chart A Filament Export Roundup

4. Which are the materials you sell most of: PLA, ABS, PET, nylon, CarbonFiber/Glass Fiber Composite, Elastomers (TPE/TPU), Advanced Plastics (PEEK/PAEK, PEKK) or Other (ASA, HIPS, PP, PC, etc,.)?

Eumakers Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

“Basically, this technology has to become easy-to-use. Discussing a “wide diffusion” does mean talking about consumer diffusion. When a 3D printer will become as commonplace as a microwave oven, everybody will use them, letting this technology become a -real- industrial revolution.”

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3D4makers produces filament for 3D printers. Products include PLA, ABS, PETG and PCL Polycaprolactone to high engineering products like PEEK, PEI Ultem, POM and Nylon 46. With unique vertical production and air cooled process the company make advanced, food safe materials. For the high engineering products, which need to be printed at higher temperature 3D4Makers also provides an affordable 3D printer which can reach 400°+ C.

1. Which are the biggest challenges you face as a 3D printing filament manufacturer?

A.S. “Our main objective has always been to create an end solution in partnership with the industry and in combination with 3D printers manufacturers and software designers. One of the first challenges was finding the right brand name as a startup.”

J.W. “In aerospace, there are very few standards for filaments for example. Apart from flammability standards such as UL 94 there few standards for filament production and parts. There are also no standardized protocols for moisture in filament or the strength of 3D printed parts. For different customers, we have different tests in place to satisfy their needs. There are also no standards for medical filament, filament for wearables, conductive filament. We develop many filaments some for very specialized applications in space, aircraft, conductivity, oil and gas and other applications. Many times we’re developing our own requirements, standards, testing protocols and quality control as we go along. It would be much simpler if many things were codified and established.”

2. How has your business evolved over the last 3 years and how much do you expect the market to keep growing?

A.S. “We only started our organization 3 years ago and we became a commercial entity 18 months ago. However, we are evolving well, especially regarding engineering filaments, with revenues growing steadily. We expect our organization to continue to grow rapidly in the next few years, especially with our new Facilan TM product line that is coming out this year. We also have ongoing partnerships with chemical companies which help us to create new engineering filaments for the industry. We expect the total market to grow in the 3D printing industry with a focus on medical, offshore, aerospace and industry.”

J.W. “Our market is growing quickly and our growth has significantly outpaced the market as a whole. Initially, we were looking to make filament for makers, hence our name. Now we focus almost exclusively on bioprinting and aerospace. We make high tolerance high-performance filament for manufacturing using FDM systems. A few years ago these segments were nascent. We’re now talking much more to purchasing managers, compliance people and being brought in on manufacturing projects for parts, not prototypes. That is a big change also.”

3. Who are your biggest customers: consumers, education sector, professional sector (designers/architects/researchers) or manufacturing sector?

A.S. “Industrial manufacturing is our biggest customer, followed by our medical filaments and the education sector. These sectors will be our main focus for the next 5 years.”

J.W. “Another one of the largest customer group we focus on is researchers in bioprinting. Scaffolding and new types of implants and materials are the largest focus. Our revenues, however, overwhelmingly come from aerospace. Here the customers are fewer but the orders larger.”

3D4Makers Chart A Filament Export Roundup

 

4. Which are the materials you sell most of: PLA, ABS, PET, nylon, CarbonFiber/Glass Fiber Composite, Elastomers (TPE/TPU), Advanced Plastics (PEEK/PAEK, PEKK) or Other (ASA, HIPS, PP, PC, etc,.)?

A.S. “Regarding the revenue, our advanced plastics are the materials we sell most (75%), this is also where our focus is. Regarding the number of spools, PLA is still the single most sold material, however with low revenue.”

J.W. “We specialize in PAEKs and high-performance filament for high-temperature applications. PEEK, PEI, PPSU and custom grades of these materials are our largest source of revenue. Besides this PCL which is used in medical braces, drug-loaded implants, artificial trachea, ‘smart materials’ and soft robotics is an important seller. We sell some ASA, PLLA and PETG. PLA is not really our focus.”

3D4Makers Chart B Filament Export Roundup

5. What do you think needs to happen in order for 3D printing (both desktop and professional) to become more widely adopted?

A.S. “We need to help the industry with end solutions and show the possibilities and advantages in creativity, design freedom, costs, environment (distribution) and produced on location and less dependent on suppliers.”

J.W. “In regulated industries: standards, protocols, qualified parts and materials as well as best practices have to be created and enforced. CAD and slicing software must be easier and more fault free. Filament has to be improved and become more high performance as well.”

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Thank you to all the experts that contributed to this expert roundup! If you have any questions about anything covered here, please let us know in the comments below and someone from our team will soon reply.

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About Minuca Elena

Minuca is a freelance writer specialized in creating expert roundups. Her posts provide quality content, bring huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers. You can contact her at her blog, MinucaElena.com

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