A new report suggests that global market for 3D printing materials will be worth US$18.4 billion in 2030, as the industry moves into larger-scale manufacturing.

‘3D printing in both domestic and industrial settings has boomed since the fused deposition printing process came off patent in 2009, and commercial 3D printing undertaken in factories and by 3D printing bureaus is now an established industry vertical,’ the IDTechEx report said. ‘While these end-users initially produced mostly prototypes or items for product development, their scope has increased greatly in the past few years, and we now see 3D printing moving into mainstream manufacturing and onto production lines.’

According to the report, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when healthcare was crying out for effective PPE and medical consumables, responses often came from relatively small, local companies using 3D printing to make bespoke masks, swabs, and valves for ventilation machines.

This story uses material from IDTechEx, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.