With the advent of industrial automation, macro 3D printing is expected to gradually gain market in the construction industry. 3D printers use materials such as concrete, steel and aluminium to build three-dimensional structures under computer system control. Macro 3D printing is a technology for printing large structures of as big as six meters in each dimension. Thus, with the increasing adoption of industrial automation, technologies such as macro 3D printing will be used for printing building structures.
Macro 3D printing technology is at infant stage and its mainstream adoption is still expected to be ten years away. It is anticipated to have wider applications in construction for printing buildings or components of buildings, in medical field for printing medical devices and in automotive for printing cars and automotive components and in aerospace for printing components.
Construction industry is expected to be the largest application market for macro 3D printing. According to United Nations, around three billion people will need basic infrastructure and proper housing by 2030. Macro 3D printing technology can help to solve the housing shortage issue in the future by printing large building structures. Macro 3D printing technology minimizes material and labor cost, thus it can be expected to have positive impact in developing countries. However, as macro 3D printing technology is at infancy stage thus it is very expensive, causing insignificant mainstream adoption by consumers. Further, calibration and maintenance of the machine is also one of the factors that might limit the wider adoption of macro 3D printing technologies in future.
The gradual shift to industrial automation will create opportunities for macro 3D printers in the future. For instance, the future of construction industry includes 3D printers, drones and robotic bulldozers which will provide support for creating robotic building site. Further, Local Motors, a US based company has already developed a 3D printed car named Strati. Open collaboration platforms for 3D printing such as Spark, support companies to build different types of 3D printing technologies by providing extensible Application Programming Interface (API) for different stages of the 3D printing workflow. Using this application, companies can build 3D models for any 3D printer. This type of platform is helping to create awareness and promote macro 3D printing.
Segmentation on basis of End-user in Macro 3D Printing Market: Construction, Healthcare, Automotive, Aerospace, Others. Currently, very few companies are producing macro 3D printers. Some of the players in the Macro 3D Printing market include: Genesis Dimensions, iBox Printers, World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP) by Centro Sviluppo Progetti (CSP).
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