Latest trends and innovations in additive manufacturing: 3D printing

The 3D printing industry stands for innovative spirit like hardly any other industry – and the past "Covid-19 years" have done nothing to change that. On the contrary: 2022 seems to be the year for 3D printing providers! New materials, the use of artificial intelligence and a recognizable democratization of printing processes: it is really difficult for us to filter out the top trends from the many innovations. As part of our innovation blog series, we have researched the market for you and summarized the most important news.

Trend 1: New materials

In terms of materials for 3D printing, two trends can be directly observed in 2022. On the one hand, more and more providers are relying on sustainable printing materials such as ceramics or recycled plastics, and on the other hand, the plastics used are becoming increasingly tailored to a particular application. Particularly impressive here, for example, is Lumentics, a luminescent DLP resin that enables components to produce a green luminescent effect in the dark. When it comes to semi-flexible components that need to have high impact strength and still cover a wide range of applications, LOCTITE 3D 3843 is the focus. 3DM-Impact, on the other hand, is ideal for components that need to be equally resistant to shock and impact – here one thinks of tools, devices or electrical housings. High-tech materials for 3D printing: For us, this is one of the trends of 2022!

Trend 2: Democratization of printing processes for faster results

In medical technology, aviation and the automotive industry, the use of 3D printers has become largely democratized in recent years. Especially in time-critical operations, it is sometimes much quicker to produce a part in-house than to order it. What has become standard in the above-mentioned sectors will also be established in other corporate sectors in 2022: Printing parts in-house is the trend.

Trend 3: Artificial intelligence

3D printing is already highly automated – and will benefit even more from digital measures in the future. The use of AI to further refine and extensively automate existing design and production processes is currently in particularly high demand. From the fastest individual adjustments in prototyping to automatic error detection, artificial intelligence may not revolutionize 3D printing in 2022 – but it will certainly make it a lot more productive.

Trend 4: Ultimate Luxury from the 3D printer

The "Ultimate Luxury" business model offers high-priced products to a certain customer segment that without 3D printing would either not be available at all or only at extreme costs. These products can be either goods with the highest measurable technical quality – for example, flow-optimised, weight-reduced components for aircraft – or B2C products such as customizable eyewear, completely new geometries for jewelry or organic shapes for furnishings. Ultimate Luxury offers immense economic potential, especially for SMEs. We are already looking forward to experiencing this trend of 2022 in everyday life soon!

Trend 5: Customized production even for small batch sizes

Customisable products are extremely popular with consumers – but in many cases it has not been possible to realise them at batch size 1, or only at excessive cost. 3D printing now enables the customized production of even complex components at competitive prices. And that from the very first printed part. Mass customisation is the keyword that should bind customers to a company in the long term. With digital interfaces between customer and company, web-based design tools and an expanded self-service, the individual production of unique pieces for the masses becomes possible. A trend we will definitely keep an eye on!

We hope to have given you a first, brief insight into the current trends in 3D printing. Do you have any questions about this article or our offer? Or would you like to discuss a specific manufacturing project with our experts? Then get in touch with us right away!