3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process in which three-dimensional physical objects are produced from a digital copy. The process is characterized by the layering down of successive layers of material units till the product is complete. From aerospace & defense to medicine and oil & gas industries, 3D printing has found application in a wide range of industries. The materials that are commonly used for 3D printing include metals, thermoplastics, metal alloys, glass, etc.
The global 3D printing in electronics industry ecosystem was valued at USD 0.23 billion in 2018, and it is projected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 29.8% in thecoming years. 3D printing has huge potential in the electronics and fabrication market. This manufacturing technology has already been employed for printing capacitors, sensors, resistors, circuits, antennas, and film transistors, among others. In the future, the application of 3D printing in the electronics industry is expected to grow further, which will help the global 3D printing in electronics industry ecosystem to flourish.
Factors such as increasing demand for nano dimensional electronic components among manufacturers have been driving the growth of the 3D printing in electronics industry in recent years. Moreover, 3D printing allows in-house prototyping and offers advantages such as flexibility of design, and customization of components. Such advantages will give a major boost to the global 3D printing in electronics industry ecosystem.
Apart from these, 3D printing ensures ease in the development of customized products and reduces manufacturing cost and process downtime. By using 3D printing for prototyping, companies can reduce the wastage during prototype transitions in traditional manufacturing and lower their operational cost. 3D printing allows the mass production of devices in small batches, which is why it is especially well suited for the optoelectronics industry.
Finally, the global 3D printing in electronics industry ecosystem will also be favorably affected by increasing demand for customized products, rising government investments in 3D printing projects, and the development of new industrial-grade 3D printing materials.
North America dominated the global 3D printing in electronics industry ecosystem in 2018 and is expected to maintain its dominance over the coming years. In the North American market, the US held the largest share in 2017. The growth of the US and North American 3D printing in electronics market is being driven by the increasing adoption of the 3D printing technology in industries such as automotive, aerospace & defense, telecom, and others.
The Asia-Pacific market is also expected to record impressive growth in the coming years. The region is projected to grow at the fastest rate over the next few years, mainly due to the increasing use of consumer electronics such as smartphones, drones, and wearable devices in the region.The key market players operating in the global 3D printing in electronics industry ecosystem are, Stratasys, EOS GmbH, 3D Systems, GE Additive, and Materialise, among others.