3D printing new medical advances analyzed by IDTechEx

Analysis of the 3D printed materials market

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3D printing
3D Printing Materials Revenue. Source: IDTechEx Research ‘3D Printed Materials Market 2020-2030: Covid Edition’

3D printing offers an efficient method to improve current manufacturing limits across economic sectors such as transport, construction, and medical and dental industries allowing rapid prototyping and on-site production and repairs. Progress in 3D printer development has led to faster, larger, and more accurate printers, but these require more functional materials.

3D printing use in the medical industry is restricted by the lack of biocompatible and biodegradable materials that are suitable for the 3D printing of medical devices with silicone-like mechanical properties. Korean researchers have recently 3D printed a more affordable and customizable artificial testicle for patients in need of a testis transplant. The researchers’ novel silicone artificial testicle can be 3D printed to match specific patient anatomies, making them more comfortable and lifelike. With the aim of producing 3D printing materials that are biocompatible and non-toxic, researchers in Australia have developed a ceramic-based ink for 3D-printing bone parts complete with living cells that could be used to repair damaged bone tissue.

US Navy has partnered with Xerox to focus on advancing additive manufacturing research that has the potential to dramatically transform the way the military supplies its forces using the Xerox ElemX Liquid Metal Printer. “Global supply chains leave industries like aerospace, automotive, heavy equipment, and oil and gas vulnerable to external risks,” said Tali Rosman, vice president, and general manager, 3D Printing, Xerox. “Our goal is to integrate localized 3D printing into their operations, and the real-time feedback from NPS gives us actionable data to continuously improve the ElemX.”

3D printing
Materials by Mass 2020. Source: IDTechEx Research ‘3D Printed Materials Market 2020-2030: COVID Edition’

Researchers in the US have discovered they can influence and increase the electrical performance of composites infused with graphene nano-platelets in a study that could change the way materials are designed and manufactured. “The combination of epoxy resins and graphene nano-platelets is of interest in several applications for the Air Force, such as thermal interface materials, heat sinks, and electromagnetic shielding materials,” according to Subramanian Ramakrishnan, a professor at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Growing global trends toward using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes lead to challenges and opportunities. There is progress toward a sustainable building material to 3D print houses made from local on-site soil, using a 3D printer to create a load-bearing structure. In New Zealand, a 3D printed replica of a 230-year-old Hawaiian outrigger (canoe) is in progress, using shavings and wood chips to mix a polymer paste that is being adapted for use in a large robotic printer.

3D printing produces parts layer-by-layer by melting and fusing powder materials allowing the manufacture of complex geometry and reduced manufacturing time and material waste. Manufacturers see value in improved materials that are reliable and cost-effective.

For a detailed, post-Covid-19 analysis of the 3D printed materials market, please see the IDTechEx report “3D Printed Materials Market 2020-2030: Covid Edition” (www.IDTechEx.com/3DMats), or for the full portfolio of 3D printing research available from IDTechEx, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/3D.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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