Many areas will benefit from 3D printing, but SmarTech has focused its research in four areas, dentistry, biomedical, automotive and aerospace. They are the biggest users and drivers of this technology for the next decade.
3D printing will be the main means of dental production
Research director Scott Dunham said that in the next 10 years, dentistry will play an important role in the entire 3D printing industry, especially in the past two years. In the context of the broader plastics industry, dental products have a large demand for photocurable liquid materials, commonly referred to as photopolymer materials, as more and more specialized photopolymers are suitable for dental applications in different individuals. Evidence supports that the entire dental industry, from the laboratory to the clinic, 3D printing will be the primary means of dental product production.
3D printing anatomical model has huge growth potential
SmarTech also studied the biomedical field, which does not include bioprinting parts related to organ regeneration and pharmacology. The 3D printed anatomical model has tremendous growth, and the anatomical model produced by 3D printing will become the standard for medical diagnosis, advanced training and personalized surgery.
In the past few years, they have begun to accelerate their development from the primary use of craniomaxillofacial surgery to other more widely used practice areas such as cardiology, general oncology, and orthopedic care. However, custom printed medical products will be the most important value.
Lightweight pushes 3D printing in automotive and aerospace applications
Dunham also sees great potential in the production of tools and mold parts for powder melting and material extrusion 3D printing in automotive and aerospace applications, and eventually goes into direct use.
For example, there are examples of laser sintered parts in the production of automobiles for very high-end luxury and super sports cars. In the aerospace industry, in-cabin components can already be manufactured from 3D printing, and now more and more flame retardant materials can be found in more than one type of printing technology.
In addition, lightweighting will continue to drive the application of powder melt forming technology in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Advanced high temperature thermoplastic composites such as carbon reinforced PEKK and downstream cost-effective decline will allow these markets to maintain high demand for 3D printing technology.