3D Printing Trends! A Radical Year Ahead in 2021


What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year. As we enter into 2021 a year with lots of potential for radical revival. The COVID crisis has made an enormous effect on every walk of life, including Industries where 3D Printing adoption was low. Industry experts started thinking differently to become more self-resilient and independent. Made companies to think where we need to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity.


With this, the legacy of 3D printers gets boost in 2021.


  1. Rethink the way we manufacture
  2. Personalization of not only products also the 3D printers
  3. Availability of material for 3D printers for multiple application


Today, additive manufacturing has evolved to empower people to make better choices. The COVID crisis has shown that AM can step up and provide meaningful solutions to challenges. But the value lies in being able to create things that no other manufacturing method can. This is where 3D printers can make an impact like ability to customize, to print fewer parts/components with less waste. Identifying the ideal solution where meaningful applications that take advantage of these qualities and to bring a greater awareness to all that AM has to offer.


In short post COVID, it is going to be more flexible, and ready for possibilities where 3D-printed products or components bring value. Let’s not forget this opportunity is created in the initial stages of the product development/supply chain.


Let us not forget whether it is in the early or later in the supply chain AM can create an impact. 


  1. The cost of entry continues to fall
  2. You’ll save on material waste and energy
  3. Prototyping costs much less
  4. Small production runs often prove faster and less expensive
  5. You don’t need as much on-hand inventory
  6. Its easier to recreate and optimize legacy parts
  7. You can improve part reliability
  8. You can consolidate an assembly into a single part
  9. It uniquely supports new AI-Driven Design Methods
  10. It uniquely supports lattice structure


The current trends in 3D printing industry are as follows:

  1. Co-creation and coalition will lead to integrating products
  2. Automation and simulated software help in minimizing human intervention
  3. Better 3D printing solutions-Industries are looking forward to reaping better benefits from design cycle after capitalizing on jigs, tooling, fixtures, etc. instead of traditional machines.
  4. FDM technology is becoming dominant as 3D printing technology
  5. Most of 3D printing portion comes under the 1st phase of new product development
  6. More market options and blended material applications
  7. More use of application-driven approach towards 3D printing 


The top ten most popular material used by industries:

FDM® Technology

ABS-M30™

ABS-M30 is an FDM material ideal for conceptual modeling, functional prototyping, manufacturing tools and end-use parts. Up to 70% stronger than standard FDM ABS, ABS-M30 is ideal for production parts, thermoform tools, lightweight jigs & fixtures and concept models. This thermoplastic has good tensile, impact and flexural strength properties.

ABS-M30 fixture for BMW


ASA

ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate) is a UV-stable, production-grade thermoplastic. In addition to being UV-stable, ASA has color repeatability batch to batch. These features when combined with mechanical properties on par with ABS-M30 make ASA an ideal material choice for production and functional prototyping of outdoor applications.

ASA car mirror prototype


PC-ABS

PC-ABS Black is a polycarbonate FDM material with superior strength and high-heat resistance when compared to other FDM materials. It offers the most desirable properties of both PC and ABS materials, including high strength with the heat resistance of PC and the flexibility of ABS. PC-ABS blends are commonly used in automotive, electronics and telecommunications applications.

PC-ABS part


Laser Sintering (LS)

Nylon 12 PA

Nylon 12 PA is an unfilled general-purpose LS Nylon 12 that offers strength and durability with a bright, white surface finish, good accuracy, and fine feature details. The LS Nylon has a good surface finish and feature definition, high chemical resistance and less deformation than Nylon 11.

nylon 12 pa ducting


Nylon 12 GF

Glass-filled Nylon 12 offers increased modulus for more rigid LS parts with greater strength. Surface finish and fine feature details are very good and heat deflection temperature (HDT) values are the best of the LS prototype materials. The LS Nylon 12 GF has higher tensile modulus & HDT that unfilled Nylon 12.

nylon 12 gf


Stereolithography (SL)

Somos® ProtoGen 18420 

When you need a thermal and humidity resistant material for your parts, Somos ProtoGen 18420 delivers the performance you need. This material creates accurate, easy-to-clean off-white/ivory parts, ideal for automotive and medical prototyping applications.

somos protogen part


Somos® WaterShed XC 11122 

Somos WaterShed XC 11122 is one of the industry’s most popular Stereolithography (SL) materials. It’s a clear, colorless material that mimics the look and feel of clear thermoplastics, such as acrylic. The photopolymer material is suited for prototyping lenses and electronic covers due to its acrylic-like appearance. Somos Watershed XC 11122 is a popular material in markets such as automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics for applications including packaging, RTV patterns, and durable concept models. This material also has excellent water resistance making it great for functional testing in humid and wet environments.

somos watershed


Somos® NeXt 

Somos NeXt is a durable SL resin that combines the accuracy of SL manufacturing with a toughness and durability not normally found in other resins. Based on the Somos DMX technology, Somos NeXt is a next generation of material that facilitates the production of tough, complex parts with improved moisture resistance and greater thermal properties. The photopolymer boasts higher impact resistance than standard SL resins.

somos NeXT part


PolyJet™

Vero™ 

Vero is a rigid photopolymer material family utilized in the PolyJet process for production of highly detailed prototypes and concept modeling. Vero materials can be built in a range of colors or produce parts in multiple colors and applied photo textures. Vero parts have fine feature detail and smooth surface finish from raw parts. Vero produces the best accuracy and edge visualization of other PolyJet materials.

vero-multi-color


Agilus™

Agilus30 is a rubber-like, elastomeric material utilized with the PolyJet 3D printing technology for flexible prototypes and components of models. Agilus30 is built in a range of transparencies and colors to create diverse, detailed parts. Capable of withstanding repeated flexing and bending, Agilus30 is an ideal PolyJet material for rapid prototyping and design validation. The material simulates the look, feel and function of rubber-like products, recommending it to prototypes like grips, gaskets and hinges.

agilus-30-part


All that said, industries that benefit from 3D printing are Aerospace, Space & Research, Jewelry, Dentistry, Healthcare, Consumer Products, Toys, Manufacturing, ER&D, Marketing, and Construction. we definitely see a growing trend for services that guide companies along the path to create reducing costs, less waste, reduce time, get a competitive advantage, reduce errors, confidentiality, production on demand. The 3D printing landscape will become even more diverse. A wider range of application-specific materials are on the horizon. Expect more options for high-temperature polymers 3D printers and materials. Composite 3D printing will enter a growth stage. The evolution of 3D printing will accelerate significantly. To know more about the 3D printers, material grade and their uses, visit https://www.arkinfo.in/stratasys/3d-printers.

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