3D Printing Powder Market is Estimated to be Worth $500 Million by 2020

"There is a growing demand for powder based printing across different industries & regions. However, high technology costs prevent access to this technology. With the expiry of technology patents, this technology has now become accessible to many industries"

3D printing or additive manufacturing is mainly employed in aerospace & defense industry, which requires much precision and quality products. Powder based printed products are widely accepted by these industries due to their high compressibility and durability. Atomized metal powders are used for these applications. The second-largest user of 3D printing is the automotive industry.

Manufacturers are utilizing 3D printing technology to optimize automobile production lines, as it helps save time and prevent cost overruns. Similarly, 3D printing is a boon for the medical & dental industry as the technology is used for bone implants, dental implants, and surgical operations.

The growing demand for powders in additive manufacturing or 3D printing has led to significant developments in the 3D printing powder market. Powder-based printers are usually complex to manufacture and are accessible to a few large-scale industries, such as aerospace, defense, and automotive, which require increased precision. New developments in metal, plastics, and ceramic-based powders have prompted increased innovations in the powder metallurgy industry. As such, the knowledge about these new innovations is being transmitted by various trade and industrial associations through a number of trade fairs and conferences held across the world.

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As a part of such initiatives, the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), an American association of metal powder manufacturers, organized an event in 2014. Called Additive Manufacturing with Powder Metallurgy (AMPM) and held in Orlando, Florida, the event received good response from powder manufacturers and 3D printer manufacturers. Moreover, the emerging companies dealing in the 3D printing industry are entering new domains by adopting strategies of partnerships and deals. Manufacturers of powder 3D printers have the potential to promote new powders and materials for 3D printing. It has also been observed that technology providers have an edge in selling powder-based products than powder manufacturers.

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The growth of the global 3D printing powder market is primarily triggered by the expiry of key patents for powder based additive manufacturing in the year 2014. The expiry of these patents will allow many new players to venture into emerging applications for 3D printing.

Development of 3D printing technology had been confined to North America and Europe due to restrictive knowledge transfer and key patents held by major companies present in these regions. However, 3D printing technologies have been slowly moving into the manufacturing sector of major countries in Asia-Pacific region.

This study highlights important developments in Asia-Pacific region which will steer the demand for 3D printing powders in the next five years.

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