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Development status of 3D printing industry

As mentioned above, compared with the traditional industry in the past 300 years, the 3D printing technology, which has been developed for less than 30 years.

3D printing technology, also called additive manufacturing technology (Additive Manufacture, AM) or rapid prototyping technology (Rapid Prototype, RP), is based on the principle of discrete-stacking, using the product’s three-dimensional CAD model to accumulate materials in layers To achieve product manufacturing.

3D printing is essentially a powerful supplement to molding technology in the field of manufacturing

3D printing technology is actually not mysterious, it is essentially a new type of digital molding technology. Compared with the traditional equal material forming and subtractive forming technology, this is a brand-new moldless free forming technology. In theory, it can complete the processing and manufacturing of any complex shape three-dimensional solid parts. A high degree of production flexibility is to increase One of the important features of material manufacturing technology. This new forming technology has changed the traditional manufacturing technology route and is another major breakthrough in the manufacturing field after NC (Numerical Control Processing) technology in the 1960s.

3D printing is currently just entering the growth stage of the industry’s development

The American 3D System company launched the first commercial 3D printing equipment SLA-250 in 1988, marking the birth of rapid prototyping technology, and it has been nearly 30 years of development so far. However, 3D printing technology has really attracted widespread attention from the society in recent years: since February 2011, “The Economist”, “Forbes”, “New York Times”, “Wired” and other mainstream Western media have continuously published Cover or front page article.

I made a series of introductions and prospects for 3D printing technology, thinking that this new type of physical free-form manufacturing technology “will promote the third industrial revolution”, and then the heavyweight god Miguo Ojun appeared. God said, there must be light, There will be light-Aojun said “3D printing is necessary”, so there is this surging wave of 3D printing.

From the beginning of this round of craze, various opinions and emotions have been mixed in it, some are full of enthusiasm and expectation, some are questioning and bad-mouthing; some are happy to see it, some are dismissive; there are many There are also many pessimistic views on his optimistic predictions, and the opinions vary. As for the various practitioners involved, some are still working with their heads down, some have slowed down and began to hesitate; some are insisting on breaking the game, some may have begun to retreat…

Is 3D printing a false proposition or a sunrise industry with broad prospects? How do we correctly recognize its development status and where is its future development going? After nearly 30 years of development, 3D printing has ushered in a surging The climax of development, but when we crossed the colorful waves to objectively and prudently comb and evaluate, we discovered that for this industry, 30 years of development, in fact, has only just completed the beginning, just starting from “children”. Grow into a “juvenile”.

According to the “Wohlers Report 2015” report, the global 3D printing market (including equipment and printing services) in 2014 was US$4.103 billion. Although this was a year of relatively strong growth in the 3D printing industry in 18 years, compared with traditional industries, this It is still a market volume that is hard to compare and has a huge gap. In fact, the industrial capital, which has a more sensitive sense of smell in the business field, still patiently squats aside and observes calmly.

On the whole, there has been no sign of large-scale industrial capital entering the 3D printing industry so far; the same is true for the traditional industry giants, but they are cautiously deploying in the periphery without excessive depth. If we think that we are really standing on a “wind vent”, but unfortunately, I have to say that it is just a “breeze”, and the entire industry is still a few days away from the real “great wind”.

Like all emerging industries, 3D printing technology has just entered the stage of growth from the introduction stage, and there is no mature business model to learn from. The development of the industry is complex and changeable, and there are many uncertain factors. It seems to be a “suspected opportunity” “, but correspondingly, huge commercial risks are hidden. If we ignore our true position, we are so lofty and forgetful, we will make this still immature industry carry too many unrealistic burdens and expectations, and it will bring huge backlash to the development of the industry.

The market value of Stratasys and 3D Systems, the two leading 3D printing companies in the world, used to be close to 10 billion U.S. dollars. However, today, the market value of the two companies has shrunk significantly. On October 28, 2015, 3D Systems President and CEO Avi Reichental announced his resignation , Sadly left its 12-year-long company. Various signs indicate that our industry is experiencing the pains after rapid development. We need to re-examine and adjust our position. Every company needs to seriously think about how to smoothly cross the “death rift” of the growth period. . The status quo is chaotic and contradictory, but for a new industry, this is also objective and reasonable.

For the current stage of the 3D printing industry market, there are generally the following characteristics.

Intensified competition: With the rise of the 3D printing boom, numerous social forces and resources have poured in from various channels. On the one hand, it has promoted the vigorous development of 3D printing technology. New materials, new technologies, new equipment and new processes in the 3D printing field On the one hand, players entering the industry are developing rapidly and diversified in number and types. Market complexity has increased sharply, the competitive landscape has accelerated, and the intensity of competition has increased. Companies seeking a market segment that can support their own development will become It’s very difficult.

Low degree of integration of industrial applications: Compared with traditional manufacturing technology, due to the large shortcomings in molding performance, molding accuracy and molding efficiency, how to deeply connect with industrial applications or completely replace it is still 3D printing technology A difficult problem that had to be faced in the development process.

Insufficient rigid demand and small market size: 3D printing is still in a relatively preliminary stage of quantitative change accumulation. The market demand scale with low technological maturity and rigid characteristics is still very limited. For many companies that have just entered the 3D printing industry, they will face In a longer period of adaptation, the window of opportunity for rapid development in the short term is relatively limited.

There have been many discussions about the development bottleneck of 3D printing at this stage, and there have also been many targeted practices and explorations. Some believe that excessively high costs hinder the large-scale development of the industry, and some believe that the combination of 3D printing technology and industrial applications is not close enough to cause market demand. However, in the author’s view, in the final analysis, the immaturity of technology is restricting the current 3D printing industry. A more direct element of development.

As mentioned above, compared with the traditional industry in the past 300 years, the 3D printing technology, which has been developed for less than 30 years, has just entered the growth stage, and the small lotus has only revealed its sharp corners. Although the “boy like a flower” is full of vitality and glory. Now, but still only a teenager after all. Regardless of the equipment, materials and craftsmanship, they are slightly immature and thin. The immaturity of technology leads to poor customer experience, and the depth and breadth of applications are greatly restricted. The lack of rigid demand does not mean that there is no rigid demand. We still urgently need to focus on the improvement and improvement of the “supply side”.

In the next 3-5 years, the production and use of prototypes are the main application scenarios of 3D printing, and this pattern is still difficult to change. However, the transition from “prototype production” to “real production” is the keynote of the overall development of the 3D printing industry, which has become an irreversible development trend in the 3D printing industry.

The development of any industry has its inherent objective laws. Due to the excessive promotion of 3D printing technology by social media, people have unrealistically high expectations for the 3D printing market. The overall market has already shown a certain degree of “bubble”.化” feature. At this stage, entering the enterprise should first require survival, and then consider development-only with the right attitude can there be the right method.

We can contribute to the flames in a moderate manner, but we must not over-populate and promote the development. We must focus on making full use of market mechanisms to promote the development of the industry and ourselves. What is gratifying is that in the past year or two, we have noticed that the entire industry is gradually returning to rationality, and everyone has begun to calm down and find a suitable position for themselves.

Passion and reason, hope and pain coexist. We must unswervingly continue to let go of passionate dreams, but we also need to persevere and steadfastly walk. “…Uphold an open, free and equal mentality and move forward firmly. Faith and mission are like a gleam of light in the chaos. That is the starting point of dreams, the power to open up, and the direction of the future”-this is the theme of Luen Thai Technology The interpretation of the sculpture “A Gap of Light. Mission”, I would like to encourage everyone in the struggle.

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