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3D printing status and development trends

3D printing technology, a new generation ofenvironmentally consciousadvanced manufacturing, along with intelligent robot...

3D printing technology, a new generation of environmentally conscious advanced manufacturing, along with intelligent robotics, artificial intelligence, are known as three key technologies in achieving digital manufacturing, the technology and its industry are important foundation in an emerging new-round wave of digital manufacturing around the world. The development of 3D printing technology will help us have superior advantage in the global scientific and technological innovation and industrial competition, further upgrade China from a manufacturer of quantity to one of quality and promote the construction of an innovative country and the cultivation of creative talents. At present, China's 3D printing technology has made great progress, almost the same class with the United States, Europe and other developed countries, even in the printing of metal components, China has achieved more than the United States.

The domestic 3D printing industry has more than 30 years of history, In its early development, most of them are in the theoretical stage, with technology breakthroughs and applications of 3D printing in certain fields in foreign countries in recent years, at the same time many businesses have been turned on this area, to a certain extent the domestic 3D printing industry has made great achievements. With the emerging “personal manufacturing”, 3D printing industry is expected to keep its relatively high growth in the field of personal consumption, which helps drive the demand for desktop 3D printing equipment for personal use, as well as boosting the consumption of upstream print materials (primarily photosensitive resins and plastics). In the field of industrial consumption, due to the continuous development of 3D printing of metal materials, as well as metal itself widely-used in the industrial manufacturing. The main molding technology of 3D printing equipment is expected to develop quickly in the future application of industrial fields.

In short term, applications in this area will continue to focus on product design and tooling. The professional division of the industry chain will be further deepened. At this stage, main 3D printing enterprises in general supply materials, equipment manufacturing and printing services and exist in comprehensive forms. This is due to the restrictions of technology introduction and market size in its early stage. In the long run, all aspects of the industrial chain will produce professional division; professional material suppliers and printing companies will emerge, product design services will be independent or transfer to downstream consumer enterprises.3D printing is expected to transforming into a real sense tool platform.

According to the report issued by China's industrial research network in the 2015 edition of the research and analysis of the development trend of China’s 3D printing, in the past year, more and more people had access to 3D printing, its wide use make people feel confident about the future market, and 3D printing is regarded as the emerging industry of the third industrial revolution. Many domestic businesses are making arrangements to enter this field and hoping to make a profits. We will embrace the crucial strategic period of 3D printing in the near three to five years. The earnings of China’ 3D printing industry reached nearly 2billion RMB in 2013, and this number will increase to 10 billion RMB in 2016.

With Chinese 3D printing industry in its introduction and promotion stage, the attention and support of government play an important role. At present, many provinces and cities have set up a local 3D printing industry alliance and add the emphasis on 3D printing industry to relevant policies. The Ministry of Education is also developing programs to allow 3D printers into the school. But 3D printing industry has been long lacking a national industrial macro-planning and guidance.

The problem of equipment: In theory, the printer can print a variety of 3D products, there are two kinds of 3D printer equipment, the first one is higher level of product-level equipment which is used for the production of large items, the second is sophisticated product-level equipment used for the production of precision devices and other products. The main problem is that each product need to match with one equipment, which sets   quite high technical requirements.

The problem of material: powder materials used in 3D printing are all imported from abroad, the prices are very high, technical monopoly is easily formed.

The problem of software: the software has the same problem with the equipment, and software needs to be re-developed because of the different structure of different 3D printing equipment. Even if most software share similar functions, the certain function of some equipment needs the support of software. There is no standard in 3D printing.

 

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