Tag Archives: materials

3D Printing Materials Will Grow to $615M Thanks to Proprietary Pricing

Industry Report Forecasts Anti-Competitive Proprietary Pricing of 3D Printing Materials

Do you think you pay a lot for your inkjet cartridge refills? Well, 3D printing materials are following suit in premium pricing.

Research firm IDTechEx has published its forecast for the 3D printing materials market to reach $615 million by 2025.

In its new report entitled “3D Printing Materials 2014-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts“, the firm provides analysis on pricing, competition, and scope of 3D printable materials.  The report provides detailed market forecasts by value and mass, broken down by material types (inkjet material, metal powder, powder thermoplastic, solid thermoplastic and photopolymers).

Objet Multi-Materials 3D Printed Car

Much of the growth in the materials market is projected to come from premium pricing. “Should a fully competitive market environment emerge then we forecast that the market value in 2025 will only be $244 million,” the firm stated.

Premium pricing is being maintained by some 3D printer manufacturers by the practice of locking end-users into their own materials supplies through key coding and RFID tagging under the guise of “quality control”. This anti-competitive behavior is preventing the development of an efficient, competitive market for 3D printing materials and is presenting very high barriers to entry for new suppliers, and perhaps hindering the development of new materials for 3D printing.

Related: Video interview with 3D Systems CEO discussing the future of 3D printing materials

Achieving the desired mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties of a 3D printed object is a complex interplay between process parameters and feedstock material properties for any 3D printing technology. End-users want to 3D print with the materials they are used to and want the final properties to match those possible with traditional manufacturing methods such as injection moulding. However this is no easy task.

The report details forecasts from 2013 to 2025 in the context of realistic adjustments to both prices and the breakdown of the installed base by technology type.

For more details see “3D Printing Materials 2014-2025: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts” (www.IDTechEx.com/3Dmats).

IDTechEx will be hosting 3D Printing LIVE, a business-focused conference and masterclass on the topic, in November.


You Can Now 3D Print in Bronze at Shapeways

3D printing marketplace Shapeways is ever expanding its materials and today announced the availability to 3D print in bronze.

3D printed Bronze at Shapeways is a high-detail metal with a deep red color similar to rose gold. It has a subtle marbling effect, and the silvery highlights give each piece their own unique character.

There are two types of bronze available: raw and polished.

Raw Bronze has a rustic matte look with some rough surfaces. It is great for antique-looking objects, vintage and steampunk jewelry, functional parts, and more. Coloration may vary across a single object, and as with all Bronze it may tarnish over time, in a cool way.

Polished Bronze goes through an extensive hand polishing process to give it a super smooth, glossy finish. It is great for miniatures, precious objects, and shiny, modern jewelry.

Compare the two finishes in the photo below.

Shapeways Bronze Material 3D Printing

Related: 3D Printing Materials Overview

As with 3D printed brass, be sure to follow the design rules so that objects will survive after being 3D printed.

Raw Bronze costs $10.00 + $16.00/cm3, while Polished Bronze costs $20.00 + $18.00/cm3. The lead time for either material is 15 business days.

Shapeways is offering a coupon code to get 10% off purchases in bronze through October 15. Use the code qferw at checkout to get the discount.

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: Ultrafine Particles, Gold, Iron, and More

3D Printer Ultrafine Particle Emissions

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from July 22 to July 28:

Tuesday, July 23

Wednesday, July 24

Friday, July 26

Saturday, July 27

Shapeways Introduces Gold Plated Brass to 3D Printing

Shapeways Gold Plated Brass 3D Printing

Shapeways Brings the Bling to 3D Printing

3D printing marketplace Shapeways announced a new 3D printable material, gold plated brass.

“Gold Plated Brass is a rich, highly polished material that’s perfect for jewelry and precious objects. The base is solid brass, and the gold plating gives it a smooth, beautiful finish,” says Savannah from Shapeways Marketing team.

3D printing in gold plated brass is actually a 5-step process

First, the model is printed in a wax using a specialized, high-resolution 3D printer. It is then put in a container where liquid plaster is poured in around it. Once the plaster sets, the wax is melted out in a furnace, and the remaining plaster becomes the mold. Molten brass is poured into this mold and allowed to harden. The plaster is broken away, and the brass piece is cleaned and polished. Finally, this piece is electroplated with a thin layer of nickel for durability and an outer layer of high quality 24K gold. The result is a smooth gloss finish comparable to a solid gold item.

Gold Plated Brass at a Glance:

Price per cm3: $35.00
Minimum Wall: 0.8mm
Max Bounding Box: 100 x 100 x 30 mm

Here is a photo gallery of what you can create with gold plated brass.



Read more at the Shapeways blog.

Study Shows 3D Printing Emits Ultrafine Particles; What This Actually Means

3D Printer Ultrafine Particle Emissions

Should You Use Your 3D Printer Indoors? Study Asks, We Explain

A recent study published in the journal Atmospheric Environment shows evidence that desktop 3D printers emit ultrafine particles (UFP) to a degree that should cause concern, if you operate your 3D printer in a telephone booth.

The report focuses on emissions by FDM (fused deposition modeling) printers that use ABS or PLA material, a configuration used by MakerBot and other popular desktop 3D printer companies.

Ultrafine particles are small particles, technically on the nanoscale, that can be inhaled and cause health effects ranging from innocuous to major, including lung disease.

The report claims that observed emissions of UFPs from desktop 3D printers were significant and therefore caution should be used when operating in a unventilated area.

Estimates of emission rates of total UFPs were large, ranging from ∼2.0 × 1010 # min−1 for a 3D printer utilizing a polylactic acid (PLA) feedstock to ∼1.9 × 1011 # min−1 for the same type of 3D printer utilizing a higher temperature acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) thermoplastic feedstock. Because most of these devices are currently sold as standalone devices without any exhaust ventilation or filtration accessories, results herein suggest caution should be used when operating in inadequately ventilated or unfiltered indoor environments.

At first glance, this sounds like a big problem for 3D printing, an industry in rapid growth and adoption. But the reality is that the level of emission observed is similar to that of laser printers, candles, and cooking on a stove at home – all activities consumers are not going to give up any time soon.

The same 3D printer utilizing a higher temperature ABS feedstock had an emission rate estimate (1.8–2.0 × 1011 # min−1) similar to that reported during grilling food on gas or electric stoves at low power (1.2–2.9 × 1011 # min−1), but approximately an order of magnitude lower than gas or electric stoves operating at high power (1.2–3.4 × 1012 # min−1). Regardless, the desktop 3D printers measured herein can all be classified as “high emitters” with UFP emission rates greater than 1010 particles per min, according to criteria set forth in He et al. (2007).

In summary, don’t use your 3D printer in a dark corner of your basement without opening the window.

Embedded is the full report.

CC image by pennstatenews