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Industrial Manufacturing to Undergo a Paradigm Shift in the Long Term With the Proliferation of 3D Printing Technologies
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This study provides information on the 3D printing market in Asia-Pacific. It talks of the key developments in the region and the drivers and restraints in the industry. Of late, 3D printing technology is being used to not only produce product prototypes but also functional components, which is helping Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in tweaking and transforming product models with ease in a more cost-effective way compared to traditional manufacturing. 3D printing offers greater freedom in designing, reduction of waste, and improvement in resource utilization. It has also enabled companies to adopting manufacturing-as-a-service business model, which has led to better lead times, minimizing risks.In Asia-Pacific, the governments of China and Singapore have committed millions of dollars to develop and commercialize 3D printing. Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), in late 2017, invested in a 3D printing technology that can fabricate from pure copper by using a high-intensity blue laser diode.As the objects made from 3D printers are designed on a software program, design creation and redesign challenges can be easily overcome by updating the file on the program. This reduces, and in some cases, eliminates the trial and error process and the high costs associated with re-tooling, redesign, and rework as with the traditional manufacturing method, thus, reducing the overall product development cycle time. Customization is currently a big trend in the automotive industry, with Ford and other such companies providing customers the option of choosing aspects of the vehicle from a palette of 3D printed parts, (e.g., body slide cladding). Additive manufacturing technology is also being actively utilized in the medical industry to build customizable implants and devices. One of the major challenges faced by suppliers and end-users in the region is the lack of human capital with high skill set and training. Imparting training on 3D printing involves touching areas on quality assurance, Computer-aided Design (CAD), machine making, material preparation, and supply chain management. The potential transformation that the technology can bring over the next decade in the automotive industry is nothing less than revolutionary. From printing car parts and accessories to creating new concepts from scratch, the possibilities of 3D printing are endless.3D printing is expected to play a major role in parts manufacturing in the future, as one of the key goals of the automotive industry is to make parts cheaper, lighter, and faster, all of which 3D printed parts will be able to achieve.This study also discusses the key end users and provides answers to the following queries: • Is the market growing, how long will it continue to grow, and at what rate? • What are the emerging trends and technologies in industrial 3D printing? • How will industrial 3D printing shape the end-to-end value chain in the manufacturing sector? • How the expiry of patents is an opportunity for APAC manufacturers and service providers?• What are the factors driving and challenging the growth of this market?• Are the products/services offered today meeting customer needs or is additional development needed?Author: Krishnan Ramanathan
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