The United Kingdom 3D printing market is expected to register a CAGR of 10% over the forecast period 2020-2025. Increasing adoption of additive manufacturing across sectors, rising investment in higher capacity printers, technological advancement, and favorable changes in government policies are major factors boosting the 3D printing market in the United Kingdom.
- As 3D printing presents companies and consumers with a comprehensive and expanding range of technical, economic benefits, it has changed the paradigm for manufacturing processes from mass production in centralized factories constrained by tooling and low-cost labor rates to a mass personalization with distributed manufacture. It has fueled its adoption in almost every sector. Recently, Rolls-Royce unveiled the largest metal part made by 3D printing, which is a component for a Trent XWB-97 aircraft engine.
- Increase investment in research and development spending over the past five years has encouraged innovation and boosted demand for 3D printing. The government has invested over EUR 200 million into additive manufacturing to increase its market share from 5% to 8% in 2025 in the 3D printing market worldwide as it offers a lifeline to the British economy after Brexit.
- Moreover, the COVID-19 outbreak has infected more than 25 lakh people across the world and more than 1.7 lakh fatalities. In the United Kingdom itself, more than one lakh people are affected, and that has led to a shortage of essential protective equipment, such as face masks. Many 3D-printer organizations are trying to resolve the problem by using an additive manufacturing method to produce facemasks. Some companies have already produced thousands of 3D-printed masks that are donated to hospitals, pharmacies, paramedics, and social-care homes. Further, 3DCrowd UK group was set up by palliative-medicine doctor James Coxon to raise EUR 40,000 funds through a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign that will be used for the pandemic. Till now, the group successfully raised half of the desired fund.
- However, price competitiveness and high commodity prices are expected to hinder the growth of the 3D printing market in the United Kingdom. But the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up new opportunities for 3D printing by revealing its wide range of applications in healthcare and many other sectors.
Key Market Trends
Aerospace Sector is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- The rise in demand for lightweight and efficient components for the aerospace defense industry and rapid production process with a shorter supply chain is estimated to promote the growth of the market in the forecast duration.
- Aerospace manufacturing industry's every field, from research and development to maintenance, has always experienced some sort of unpredictable delays due to custom borders, and 3D printing techniques can overcome transport issues through the supply chain. Aerospace manufactures are planning to incorporate a scalable network of small 3D printers into existing workflows and expand its inline production with changing business needs. It would also help to reduce the overall weight of an aircraft by up to 55%.
- Rising investment by the government to support the growth of the aerospace sector with the lasted technology will boost the growth of the 3D printing market. For instance, the United Kingdom-based independent research and technology organization named Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) aims to help companies utilize technologies developed in academic research institutes and bring them to market. It is currently leading the three-year government-funded project named DRAMA (Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing Facilities for Aerospace) to establish world-class testbed facilities for aerospace suppliers.
- They can explore the use of additive manufacturing technology to understand its full capabilities and would ensure the development process is effective with less trial and error. The project would bring together all the aerospace companies in the United Kingdom who face various challenges in the adoption of the additive manufacturing method.
Healthcare Industry will Experience Significant Growth in Forecast Period
- 3D printing applications are expanding rapidly in the medical sector and are expected to revolutionize health care. The medical industry uses 3D printing in several broad categories, including tissue and organ fabrication, creation of customized prosthetics, implants and anatomical models, and pharmaceutical research related to drug dosage forms, delivery, and discovery. It provides several benefits such as customization and personalization of medical products, drugs and equipment, cost-effectiveness, and efficient productivity.
- The surging need for 3D printed personalized, and better performing implants has fueled the collaboration of hospitals and organizations to offer 3D printers and training to the health professional to develop the devices. In 2019. Axial3, a medical manufacturing service provider, has partnered with Newcastle Hospitals of England to provide an on-site 3D printing lab that will be primarily used by practitioners in orthopedics and spinal surgery to print patient-specific models for presurgical planning.
- Design flexibility offered by 3D printing is driving the demand for 3D-printed implants with higher performance. As implants can be designed with porous surface structures, it facilitates faster integration between a living bone and the artificial implant. The 3DLifePrint has secured an investment of EUR 1.2 million in 2020, to expand its portfolio of embedded medical 3D printing hubs across hospitals and clinics, to recruit additional bio-medical engineers and 3D technologists to continue research and development.
- Increasing the application of 3D printing to produce modern prosthetics has decreased the cost and has surged its adaptation among the users. The number of patients with an amputation or congenital limb deficiency attending specialist rehabilitation service centers in the United Kingdom is estimated to be around 60,000. NHS England spends approximately EUR 60 million per year on rehabilitation services. This reveals the tremendous opportunity for the 3D printing market in the healthcare segment of the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom 3D printing market is competitive and is dominated by a few significant players like Renishaw PLC, Stratasys Limited, EOS GmbH, Materialise NV , and AnisoPrint. These major players, with a prominent share in the market, are focusing on expanding their customer base across foreign countries. These companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability. However, with technological advancements and product innovations, mid-size to smaller companies are growing their market presence by securing new contracts and by tapping new markets.
- April 2020 - Nexa3D, the maker of ultrafast stereolithography production 3D printers, collaborated with Henkel to develop and deliver a family of co-branded performance photopolymer materials through its expanding Nexa3D channels globally. Nexa3D joined Henkel's open platform of material partners with a focus on jointly addressing high throughput industrial production opportunities leveraging its leading print speed, large build volume, and intelligent resin management technology to convert Henkel's performance resins into functional parts on its NXE400 3D printer.
- February 2020 - Stratasys had unveiled the new J826 3D Printer, which is about half the price of other J8-series PolyJet printers. It combines part realism and productivity, including full PANTONE-Validated color and multi-material 3D printing. It makes possible for enterprise groups to save weeks on design cycles with exceptional print quality to create highly realistic prototypes that help achieve the exact intent of the designer, bringing them to life much faster and increasing quality with more design iterations
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