Nanoscale 3D printing Market Overview
Additive manufacturing, i.e. 3D printing was invented three decades ago in 1986. It takes digital 3D models of objects and turns that digital copy into an actual, physical one. There are many technologies available to print with like metal, alloys, thermoplastics and ceramics but all are based on the same principle. Every 3D print begins life as a digital 3D file (essentially a blueprint) which is made into several layers and then sent to the 3D printer. One area where it is anticipated to have wide scale adoption in the coming decade is the nanoscale 3D printing market. Crucial advantages gained by this technique could be reducing waste and economic viability which it would bring to the manufacturing process. It could be used to create 3D objects with extremely intricate details like the 285 µm Race car which was printed at the University of Vienna in 2012. Another example could be fractal nanotruss which measures only 5 mm! Previously, 3D printing was used to generate replicas of man-made or natural structures. With modern technology, it is now possible to manufacture micro or even nanoscale structures, increasing the scope of the nanoscale 3D printing market worldwide.
Nanoscale 3D printing Market Drivers
A key driver of the nanoscale 3D printing market is commercial nanofabrication. While largely confined to future probable devices at one point, nanotechnology material has become commonplace in our lives. Nanoscale manufacturing is used to make Photonic Wire Bonds (PWT). This allows computer engineers to solve the communication bottlenecks in worldwide data servers or even in high performance individual computers. As the world becomes more interconnected and dependant on the Internet for everything like communication, entertainment and business, its importance is only expected to grow. It is also expected to have application in the construction industry by creating synthetic setae. This would enable any man to climb (or cling) to vertical objects like buildings, substantially improving the safety record and minimizing injuries. Another use for nanoscale 3D printing is in any industry that requires filtration systems like oil & gas or food & beverages. Nanofilters could be created which are only one micrometre wide. These are anticipated to be key drivers in the nanoscale 3D printing market.
Nanoscale 3D printing Market Restraints
One of the major challenges of the nanoscale 3D printing market is high cost. 3D printing machines range in price from $500,000 to several millions of dollars per individual unit. This makes it extremely difficult for companies to adopt this technology as rapidly as it should have been. The second constraint is that of the slow manufacturing speed. 3D printing is perfect for mass-producing small batches of products. Unfortunately, even this is a time-consuming process as it all too frequently takes hours, if not days. While 3D printing produces more consistent results than other nanofabrication techniques, the slow speed of production is still to be solved. The third major problem is the lack of materials available for 3D printers to work with. Metals used in the process have to be made into a fine form powder but their properties might not be uniform in the print. That is why it is difficult to get 3D printed parts certified in critical sectors of the economy.
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Nanoscale 3D printing Market Key Regions
There are a few main key regions in the nanoscale 3D printing market – North America, the E.U, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world (RoW). North America is the largest market due to an advanced economy and strong government support in the form of subsidies and grants for critical areas like nanotechnology. In the E.U, main markets include the U.K and Germany. China and India are expected to drive the demand in the 21st century on account of strong economic growth and government focus on gaining self-sufficiency in high technology industries.
Nanoscale 3D printing Market Key Market Players
Companies involved in the nanoscale 3D printing market are 3D Systems, Stratasys, Nanowerk, Nano Dimension and Nanoscribe GMBH.