With the challenges that 3D printing is currently facing, Scott Dunham, head of research at SmarTech Publishing, believes that, in general, plastic 3D printing processes and solutions are at some stage between prototyping and full industrialization, and are moving toward the latter.
“Plastic and polymer printers will still be suitable for manufacturing prototypes and models. The requirements for automation, reliability, precision, material compatibility and ease of use are relatively low in these areas, and many market segments are beginning to push 3D printing to Industrial production in the technology sector is a good sign," Dunham said. "3D printing is rapidly evolving cost per part, material compatibility and total productivity to achieve higher levels of quality assurance and scalability. "
He added that another major challenge is injection molding, molding technology continues to advance, and is deeply rooted in manufacturing. “However, what is changing is that users are beginning to realize how to properly differentiate the relationship between printing and molding, so that each can produce maximum value. Plastic printing technology is more dynamic and can help to actively explore what is really interesting. Business models and products, but molding technology is clearly still the main force in the global plastics manufacturing industry.