The 4D Printing Market was valued at USD 62.02 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 488.02 million by 2026, at a CAGR of 41.96% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The advancement in bio-fabrication technology will drive the 4D printing market in the forecast period.
- When external energy sources, such as pressure, heat, energy, etc., are brought in contact with this 3D printed smart material, it alters based on the instructions in the previously given program. In this way, 4D printing technology enables the printed objects to self-transform over time.
- The technological advancements in 4D printing are resulting in the development of technologies in the medical and defense sector. For instance, to minimize the procedures involved in carrying out the surgery, doctors use 4D printing to put self-transforming components into the patient's body.
- Furthermore, in military applications, 4D printing has more significance. Soldiers can have a camouflage that can adapt to different environments and metals. This is increasing the performance of tanks and trucks, according to the changes in the environment. Owing to their benefits in producing guns, machinery, and other defense technologies, 4D printing is being increasingly explored by the military.
- In the United States, the USAF and the US military are investing in 4D printing to bolster infrastructure and posture American airpower for continued dominance into the future.
- With the outbreak of Covid-19 industries, particularly healthcare will employ more advanced technology to manufacture and meet the requirements of various medical devices and equipments. For instance, Leitat Technology Centre designed the ventilator by incorporating 3D technologies and incorporating other parts found on the market. Assembly is very fast, so currently about 100 ventilators can be produced per day.
- A major challenge for 4D printing technology is the structural design that includes both the hardware section and software section. To design the hardware part, special measures need to be addressed.
Key Market Trends
Increase in Demand for Industry 4.0 and Emergence of Industry 5.0 to Drive the 4D Printing Market
- Additive Manufacturing, also called 3D-printing, is a part of Industry 4.0. Lately, there has been many funding activities which is leading to developments in this technology. For instance, in January 2019, Essentium, a 3-D printing firm, raised USD 22 million in a Series A round, led by Materialise and Genesis Park.
- Additive manufacturing technology is still developing rapidly so companies have realized that 'manufacturing as a service' is a smart approach. Also, the future of additive manufacturing is the ability to produce personalize products with lower costs, less energy consumption and less material waste, which is what exactly Industry 5.0 has to offer.
- Industry 5.0 will encourage 4-D printing since it will help in concentrating on design process, rather than the manufacturing process. The freedom of design will lead to the creation of products which are more bespoke and personal.
- Industry 5.0 is projected to push the boundaries of physics on design. For instance, in the creation of next generation aircraft, there is a constraint in manufacturing capabilities when it comes to Industry 4.0. On the other hand, with Industry 5.0, the manufacturing process would be better automated, since humans will mainly focus on design of the aircraft.
North America to Account for Largest Market Share in 4D Printing Market
The North American region, particularly the United States, is among the lead innovators and pioneers, in terms of adoption, for additive manufacturing. It is expected to retain its position as the market leader, over the forecast period.
- US- based Autodesk in December 2018 launched ADAPT, which is an additive manufacturing consortium that identifies visionary research, scalable education platforms, actionable strategic insights, and academic-industry ecosystem as the basis of its platform.
- EnvisionTEC in Michigan, is one of the leading manufacturer and distributor of patented 3D rapid prototyping and manufacturing solutions for global organizations. Due to their strong customer and partner base in automotive, aerospace and medical industry, the company is planning to introduce 4-D printed prototypes in near future.
- According to OECD, The healthcare expenditure of the United States, as a percentage of GDP, is higher than any other country. 4D scanners can be brought into use in healthcare in developing 4-D models for human body parts, which can then be used for producing prosthetics.
The key profiles of the leading suppliers of 4D printing technology are self-assembly lab: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hewlett Packard Corporation, Autodesk Inc., Stratasys Ltd, ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), Exone Corporation, and others. The market is highly competitive without any dominating players. Companies in additive manufacturing and 3D printing are expanding their capabilities by investing in R&D for 4D printing. Therefore, the market is fragmented.
- April 2019 - 3-D printing startup, Fast Radius raised USD 48 million to scale its printing capabilities and application engineering.
- January 2019 - Autodesk developed the new generative design software that works directly with HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers. The design-to-print workflow for additive manufacturing was designed specifically for HP's 3D printers, with the goal of streamlining the conversion of digital design to the physical part. In addition to working with HP, the company is also working with GE Additive to create an integrated workflow for GE 3D printer, which will then lead to the advancement in 4D printing techniques.
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