The rapid prototyping materials market was valued at USD 217.5 Million in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 903.8 Million by 2021, at a CAGR of 26.8% between 2016 and 2021. Major factors driving the growth of the rapid prototyping materials market include high demand for product modification and development, low cycle time of printing, expected increase in supply capacity with forward integration, and development of application-specific grades.
The rapid prototyping materials market has been segmented on the basis of type, form, function, end user, and region. According to end user, the market has been further classified into aerospace & defense, healthcare, automotive, consumer goods & electronics, and manufacturing & construction, among others.
Among all end users, the aerospace & defense segment accounted for the largest share of the rapid prototyping materials market in 2015. This large share is mainly attributed to the latest technological advancements and invention of new materials in rapid prototyping in the aerospace & defense sector. Moreover, in the healthcare sector, metal rapid prototyping is used in several medical products, such as surgical equipment, prosthetics & implants, and tissue engineering products, thereby propelling the applicability of rapid prototyping materials in this sector. However, growing demand for high-quality 3D printing materials that are certified by various governing bodies for medical applications is further driving the market for rapid prototyping materials in the healthcare sector.
Major functions for prototyping include conceptual models and functional prototypes, which either overlap with each other in some case or are mutually exclusive. Conceptual models are used to study the static features of the model or the specimen. For instance, various packaging models can be used to study the aesthetics of products. On the other hand, functional prototypes can be used to study the body components, engine parts, and machine components, among others. Functional prototypes are created to study the dynamics, strength, and hardness of components, which can be tested in virtual operating conditions. With increasing competition among end-use industries, functional prototypes provide a critical solution to test the feasibility of the product.
North America is leading the rapid prototyping materials market during the forecast period, owing to the increasing adoption of rapid prototyping materials by varied end-use industries in this region. Moreover, this market in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021. This growth is mainly attributed to the increasing production activities in the automotive and consumer goods & electronics sectors.
Some of the restraints that impact the growth of the rapid prototyping materials market include synchronization between prototyping and production materials, high material costs, and low acceptance rate of rapid prototyping in emerging economies. However, high R&D investments made by end-use industries is offering lucrative growth opportunities to key players operating in the rapid prototyping materials market.
Leading companies in the rapid prototyping materials market include 3D Systems Corporation (U.S.), Arkema S.A. (France), Stratasys Ltd. (U.S.), Royal DSM N.V. (Netherlands), EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems (Germany), CRP Group (U.S.), Envisiontec GmbH (Germany), Materialise NV (Belgium), Oxford Performance Materials (U.S.), and Golden Plastics (Hong Kong).
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