The State of 3D Printing 2021

3D printing industry is emerging amazingly. The whole market value will be $21 billion this year, a 25% increase over 2020. 

 3D Printers are used to print many things, homes, cars, and even organs.

Homes

  • ICON, a pioneer in 3D-printed homes in the U.S., completed four homes in East Austin, Texas in 2020.
  • The two- to four-bedroom homes are now on the market, starting in the $400,000 range.
  • A much larger community of 3D-printed homes is being planned in Rancho Mirage, California, by competitor Mighty Buildings.

 

Cars

Cars are made from thousands of parts, including some that are incredibly intricate and difficult to make. Enter 3D printers — especially metal 3D printers — that can create these 3D printed car parts on-demand, quickly, accurately, and can create lighter parts that use less petrol.

 

Experts predict that the 3D printed car market will grow to a $5.3bn industry by 2023, increasing to $12.4bn in 2028. 3D printed cars are predicted to have an impact throughout the automotive industry, ranging from parts — classic car parts, and for new cars — low cost prototypes, tools, and more.

 

Organs

Organ printing utilizes techniques similar to conventional 3D printing where a computer model is fed into a printer that lays down successive layers of plastics or wax until a 3D object is produced. In the case of organ printing, the material being used by the printer is a biocompatible plastic. The biocompatible plastic forms a scaffold that acts as the skeleton for the organ that is being printed.

 

Liver – Researchers at the Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center at the University of Sao Paulo have been able to create artificial liver spheroids that they claim can perform all functions expected of a liver.

Pancreas -  A team from the Foundation for Research and Science Development in Poland were the first to achieve success in this frontier.

Kidney – In 2020, a collaboration was announced between United Therapeutics and Israel-based CollPlant Biotechnologies to work on the bioprinting of human kidneys.

Ovaries -Back in 2017, a team from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering achieved one of the most significant milestones in this field when they 3D printed an artificial ovary and implanted it into a mouse. The mouse then proceeded to get pregnant and give birth to a litter.

Cornea -In 2018, a team of scientists at Newcastle University in the UK successfully 3D printed an artificial human cornea.

Bones - Among the handful of prototypes of 3D printed bones, the goal is the same – to create a bone graft that will eventually merge with the patient’s natural bones.

Heart -  There are several different research teams working 3D printed hearts.