Common Processes and Materials in 3D Printing

- Sep 18, 2018-

3D Hubs' Q2 report shows what 3D printing processes and materials are being used and where.

Process and Materials

Fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF) covers 68% market share of 3D Hubs’ business. It may be the case that extruding plastic is still the most affordable way to get the first prototype in your hands. FDM saw a marginal increase of 2% while SLA and DLP maintained a 15% share at #2. SLS is at #3 and saw an increase in popularity with a small 1% bump to 13%. SLS is continuing its chase of SLA + DLP, and the gap may close even further as we see SLS dominate the most popular industrial technologies.

Common Processes and Materials in 3D Printing

FDM is a extrusion polymer process, which, because of its cost-effectiveness and ease of use, has gained a large market and is arguably the easiest to obtain.While the cost of other processes is reduced, many of the other processes provided here require only one process space.

With extruded plastic covering the process, it makes no surprise that plastics comprise the top 10 materials. Standard PLA comes in at No. 1 with a drop of 4% since Q1, with 30% of the material pie. Standard ABS at No. 2 increases to 17%.

3D Printing and CNC

While 3D printing is disrupting traditional technology, it isn’t replacing it. Anytime a machine is sitting idle, it is costing a company money—or it is at least missing out on generating more revenue. The same concept to keep 3D printers running has expanded to computer numeric controlled (CNC) machines.

As the world gets closer, it also gets more and more decentralized.Looking at the data may help identify them before trends form and keep the company ahead.Companies that take advantage of connectivity, 3D printing technology and collaboration will have greater flexibility to adapt to the market more quickly.


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