The global 4D printing market size is expected to be USD 64.5 million in 2019. The technology is on the verge of commercialization and is expected to replace 3D printing over the forecast period. The rising demand for innovation in several 3D printing applications and considerable research & development investments are the major factors expected to drive the 4D printing market from 2020 to 2025.
4D printing technology is an extension of 3D printing and offers improved quality, efficiency, and performance capabilities over conventional manufacturing techniques. The technology develops materials that have the ability to change their behavior and properties based on external stimuli such as changes in temperature, pressure, and so on.
U.S. 4D printing market by material, 2019 - 2025 (USD Million)
The need to reduce the costs of manufacturing and processing, owing to fierce competition, is expected to be a key factor accelerating the global market of 4D printing growth over the coming years.4D technology, being based on 3D printing technology, proposes a new business model to cater to the current business requirements by offering reduced need for capital, inventories, time-to-market, thereby boosting business efficiency.
The ability of 4D printed objects to self-transform allows it to make use of limited resources as it responds to external stimuli, which leads to easier after-use disposition of the object, thereby contributing toward maintaining a sustainable environment. The increasing focus on ensuring a sustainable environment is likely to propel the market growth in the near future. Companies have started implementing these strategies to develop products for the long run. A 4D printed product would incur lesser manufacturing, transportation, and handling costs, which, in turn, would lead to the saving of resources and efforts, thereby sustaining the environment.
Nowadays, numerous technologies are brought together to aid a breakthrough in the performance of 4D printing materials. The technologies include advances in materials science, multi-material 3D/4D printing, and new capabilities in optimization/simulation software. These capabilities have allowed to fully program a variety of materials to change appearance, shape, or other properties as per the requirements. These new materials include carbon fiber, custom textile composites, and printed wood grain, which offer unprecedented capabilities of self-transformation, programmable actuation, and sensing from a simple material.
Programmable carbon fiber is anticipated to witness healthy growth by 2025 owing to its high stiffness, low weight, and tensile strength, making it beneficial for many industrial applications. It can be autonomously transformed by printing active material on flexible carbon fiber using heat as an activator. Additionally, it requires no complex electronics, actuators, or sensors. It also minimizes failure-prone mechanisms and decreases the total weight, owing to which its espousal is expected to increase over the coming years.
Programmable wood and programmable textiles are both anticipated to grow at a CAGR exceeding 20%. Programmable textiles have found applications in furniture designing, product manufacturing, and shipping. They have also created new methods of self-assembly and user interaction; for instance, methods where the need for extra materials are reduced. Printing material in varied layer thicknesses on stretched textiles allows developing self-transforming structures that reconfigure into pre-programmed shapes.
The self-transforming ability of the 4D printing material is estimated to lead to its increasing adoption in various end-use industries such as military & defense, aerospace, automotive, and so on. Major players in several industries have started developing 4D printing technology to suit their applications.
China 4D printing market by end use, 2019 (%)
Military & defense is anticipated to emerge as the largest growing segment by 2025, owing to several benefits offered by the technology, such as the ability to repair and self-replicate itself in response to external environmental conditions. Furthermore, The U.S. Army Research Center is coming up with new technologies, such as a soldier’s uniform that can offer protection against toxic gases effectively or alter its own camouflage while traveling through different climates.
Aerospace is anticipated to follow the military & defense sector, holding a market share of over 25% by 2025. The space memory technique used in 4D printing would help in forming a self-deploying structure, which is applicable in the aerospace segment; for instance, to create air ventilation. Additionally, Airbus S.A.S. is developing a technology to cool its engines using smart material that reacts to temperature.
From a regional perspective, the 4D printing market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. The North American market is anticipated to witness robust growth throughout the forecast period, accounting for a major share of the overall market. This can be ascribed to the initialization of the concept of 4D technology, especially in the U.S., and the growing focus on the advancements in the technology. The region is increasingly investing in research & development and scientists are focusing on developing 4D material that has an ability to adapt to different environmental conditions.
The Asia Pacific market is estimated to follow North America by 2025. Technological advancements and the growing emphasis on the development of new products are expected to fuel the market growth in Asia Pacific, thereby generating lucrative opportunities for the leading players operating in this industry. However, the high initial cost is predicted to challenge the market growth over the coming years.
4D printing is currently developed by industry leaders and research facilities. As of 2017, leading players operating in the market are Autodesk, a 3D software company; Stratasys, a 3D printing manufacturer; and MIT Self-Assembly Lab. These players are estimated to witness an intense competition over the coming years. Furthermore, a significant rise in the number of players is likely to encourage the growth of the overall market in the near future. The technology is currently in the R&D phase. However, in some prototyping facilities or labs, 4D printing is already in use.
Base year for estimation
2020 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, France, China, India, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Brazil, and Mexico
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2019 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global 4D printing market based on materials, end use, and region:
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2025)
Programmable Carbon Fiber
Programmable Wood - Custom Printed Wood Grain
End-Use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2025)
Military & Defense
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2019 - 2025)
Middle East & Africa
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