Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/15/2012 -- Additive manufacturing is an automatic process used to create rapid prototypes and functional end-use parts. It takes virtual designs from Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, and transforms them into thin, virtual, horizontal layer-wise cross-sections, until the model is complete. The AM is a potentially growing market in every manufacturing sector with a global market of $1,843.2 million in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% to reach $3,471.9 million by 2017.
The global additive manufacturing devices market has been segmented into different areas such as, automotives, consumer products, business machines, medical, academic, aerospace, government/military and others. Automotives or motor vehicles account for the largest share in this market, primarily due to the easy applications of 3D printing in the production of end-products (engines, spare parts, other interior, and exterior parts) as compared to other segments such as consumer products and business machines, which have limited usage in manufacturing of end-products. Rising healthcare expenditure in emerging economies provide growth opportunities for the additive manufacturing technologies, as new healthcare facilities have come up in these areas.
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New and improved technologies, financial support from governments, large application area, rapid product development at a low cost, and ease of development of custom products are the major drivers that are slated to propel this market. However, a few pivotal factors restraining the growth of this market are regulatory hurdles in different countries, material characterization during development, and process control and understanding.
In this report, we are mainly focusing on medical applications of additive manufacturing. Within the medical industry, additive manufacturing is used in making end-products such as surgical equipments, prosthetics & implants, and scaffolds. The market is growing due to the rising incidence of surgeries, coupled with increasing awareness and advances in technology. Surgical equipments account for the largest share in this market due to their wide applicability.
Europe dominates the additive manufacturing for medical devices market in 2012, followed by North America. However, adoption of novel additive manufacturing technologies in the medical field is gaining momentum at a fast pace in emerging nations due to growing educational and awareness efforts of industry players among physicians and patients. Moreover, increasing healthcare expenditure, growing income levels, low cost of manufacturing, rapid product development, growing surgical procedures in lieu with medical tourism, and lesser competition than mature countries, have amplified interest of market players in emerging markets.
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