Gartner: Accelerating 3D Printing from Prototyping to Production
Formnext is a leading indicator of where the industry is headed — up.
This year’s exhibition had 50% more 3D print technology providers (470 from 33 countries), 100% more hall space (two expansive floors of equipment) and 60% more attendees (21,500 total) than the 2016 event. Moreover, from what I could see in the aisles — and which I confirmed with several exhibitors — many, many groups of people were in attendance.
The number of these groups — 3, 4, 5 people — stood out for me. I have been to 2D and 3D print exhibitions for over 30 years. Never had I noticed so many small groups of co-workers. This is a qualitative point, but an important one nevertheless: When 3, 4 or 5 people leave work for a day or two, with the associated travel costs and the work left undone back at the company, then they must be serious prospects. They are not strolling along, looking to see the latest hardware but actively considering either the purchase of a 3D printer or of engaging a 3D print service bureau.
A few other observations to help you evaluate the 3D printer market and opportunities:
- “From Prototyping to Production” was Formnext’s unofficial theme — many vendors displayed systems designed to produce higher volumes in, to varying degrees, an automated fashion. Among them were:
Additive Industries took a clean sheet approach to designing its new “Product Removal Module.” The unit takes the completed build plate, flips it over, and uses a band saw to cut the parts loose, allowing them to drop softly into a foam-lined tray. The build plate is then removed and milled for reuse.
Using low cost Metal Injection Molding (MIM) powder, Desktop Metal’s “single pass jetting” (SPJ) process reportedly will deliver speeds of up to 8,200 cubic centimeters/hour or 100 times faster than many powder bed fusion systems.
EOS’ new P 500 polymer powder bed fusion 3D printer with a claimed cost per part that is 30% less and a build speed that is twice as fast as its P 396.
HP’s new 4210 Multi Jet Fusion system shifts the “break-even point” at which additive manufacturing is more cost-effective than conventional manufacturing to 110,000 parts.
Read the entire article here, Accelerating 3D Printing from Prototyping to Production
Via the fine folks at Gartner.