Additive manufacturing is also known as “3D Printing” and it’s a manufacturing technique based on digital model data. It creates physical models in three dimensions that are exactly the same as the digital models. This method is the opposite of traditional manufacturing methods that use subtractive manufacturing by removing raw materials and cutting them before assembly. 3D-printing involves the design first, and then the layering of materials.
Currently, there are many applications for 3D printing. 3D-printing equipment is at the heart of the 3D-printing industry. It can be classified as metal printing equipment or nonmetal printing gear based on what materials are used. Metal 3D printers are primarily used in high-end manufacturing and use metal powder. Non-metal printing uses resins, rubbers, and plastics. 3D printing is classified based on the application domains. The main applications are in aerospace, biomedicine and automotive transportation. West Securities’ analysis shows that the aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, and medical/dental industries are the largest markets for 3D-printing applications.
EqualOcean has discovered that many Chinese 3D companies have been focusing on international markets since they began. China’s consumer 3D printer market is still not mature enough compared to other markets. Anycubi – a leading 3D Printer manufacturer and distributor – told EqualOcean, that overseas 3D Printing enthusiast communities were more mature. Some experienced hobbyists enjoyed disassembling and modifiying printers to show a “geeky side”. EqualOcean analyzes and reviews companies aiming for the international market.
Chamlian Technology (铖联科技)
Chamlian Technology has a good reputation in China for its 3D printers used in dentistry. In 2017, the company was founded in Nanjing (Jiangsu Province). Chamlian Technology, according to its official website, has developed independently dental-specific 3D printing systems, intelligent dental design software and post-processing tools, achieving digitalization throughout the dental industry chain. Chamlian Technology is currently operating over 260 cloud-based factories across 27 countries. These include the United States Canada and Italy.
Since its founding, Anycubic has focused on the international market. Anycubic launched the Anycubic Mega in 2016, which was a huge success on the international market. Anycubic is used in more than 200 countries around the globe, but the United States and Europe are the main concentration. Users in these regions are more enthusiastic and attentive to 3D Printers than their domestic counterparts. Consumer-grade 3D Printers also have a larger user base and wider range of applications.
FARSOON TECHNOLOGY was established in 2009 with its headquarters in Changsha (Hunan Province) and is a company that specializes in industrial 3D printing. It offers 3D-printing equipment, materials and software integrated into solutions. FARSOON TECHNOLOGY is expected to go public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Sci-Tech Innovation Board, or STAR Market on April 17, 2023. The company has research and development centers in North America and Europe, and it collaborates with companies such as Daimler, BASF, Lehmann & Voss, Oerlikon, Autodesk, AMT, and other European and American enterprises.
UnionTech, founded in 2000, is one of China’s earliest 3D-printing companies. Its technology, which was founded in 2000, is used in many industries, including aerospace, electronics and dental medicine, culture and creativity and education, footwear and construction. UnionTech, according to the most recent data from China Commercial Intelligence Network (CCIN), currently has a 16.4% share of the Chinese 3D Printing Equipment market. UnionTech’s marketing regions include China, Europe and North America. It also has a presence in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. The company serves more than 3,000 clients and covers over 50 countries.
E-Plus-3D, a company based in Beijing, was founded in 2014. The company specializes in manufacturing 3D printing machines and developing processes, with metal-printing technology at its core. E-Plus-3D 3D printing equipment, according to its official website, is sold in 40 countries including Europe, Americas and Southeast Asia.
HBD Technology, a metal 3D printer company of industrial quality, entered the field of 3D printing in 2007. Its 3D printing business includes research and design, manufacturing, marketing, sales, applications, and technical support. HBD Technology is based in Shanghai and Guangdong. The Paper reports that HBD Technology covers nearly 40 countries around the world, including Southeast Asia. Europe, North America and South America.
HeyGears (also known as HeyGears Intelligent) was founded in July 2015. The company is technology-driven and focuses on 3D printing applications, digital intelligent manufacturing, and digital manufacturing. HeyGears, headquartered in Guangzhou has subsidiaries located in Shenzhen and Hangzhou. They also have offices in Taipei and California. Their solutions currently cover fields such as dentistry, consumer electronics, orthopedics/rehabilitation, industrial, cultural and creative industries.
INTAMSYS provides industrial additive manufacturing, 3D printing of high performance materials and other high-tech solutions. Their technology is aimed at industries like aerospace, automotive manufacturing, consumer products, scientific research, and electronics manufacturing. INTAMSYS was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Shanghai. It has 3D printing service centers and marketing centers in Germany, the United States and other countries.
King’s 3D Printing（金石三维）
King’s 3D Printing was established in Shenzhen (Guangdong) in 2015. It is a national enterprise that focuses on 3D technology application and research. King’s 3D Printing acquired Guangzhou Leijia Additive Technology Co. Ltd. in 2022. This company was a leader in the metal 3D-printing industry. It became one of the only domestic companies to be involved in both non-metal and metal 3D-printing. The company’s applications include rapid prototyping and sculptures in fields like medical, dental, automotive, ceramics, construction, and more. It has a presence on the market in a number of Asian countries as well as Europe, America, Australia and more.
RAYSHAPE offers digital production solutions using 3D printing. They have a focus on industrial design, electronic, digital dentistry and science education. The main business of the company is to develop, produce, and sell 3D printing technology, materials, software and equipment. RAYSHAPE operates two subsidiaries in the world, and sells its products in over 30 countries.
LOTMAXX was founded in 2018, with its headquarters in Shenzhen. The company is a technology firm that focuses on 3D printing. LOTMAXX became a member of Xiaomi’s ecosystem in September 2021. The company is committed to excellence in product development. Its main market is in Europe and America with the United States, Germany and Canada having the highest market share.
LuxCreo was founded in 2018 and is a 3D digital manufacturing company located in Beijing. It is a 3D printing company that specializes in research and development. LuxCreo has developed its own printers in the Lux Series and software to support them. This allows it to provide solutions for industries including footwear, dental care, medical products, consumer goods and automotive. LuxCreo closed a multimillion-dollar Series-B financing round in 2019 and opened its US headquarters in Silicon Valley. In 2021 they will have a subsidiary located in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Triastek, the only 3D-printing pharmaceutical company in China founded in 2015, is the sole provider of this technology in China. Triastek’s official website states that they are dedicated to creating a 3D printing technology platform for pharmaceuticals, which covers the entire supply chain, including drug formulation development, digital development, and continuous production. Triastek’s market coverage includes the major pharmaceutical markets of China, Europe and North America, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea.
Boston Macro Fabrication (摩方精密)
Boston Macro Fabrication was founded in 2016, with headquarters in Chongqing. It is a pioneering leader in 3D micro/nano printing, and has a rich background in complex microprocessing of three-dimensional structures. Their printing machines are among the only ones in the industry that can achieve ultra-high print precision and high tolerance processing. Boston Macro Fabrication’s official website states that they have branches in Shenzhen, Boston, London, Frankfurt and Tokyo. Over 1,400 clients in more than 33 different countries have worked with them.
In general, 3D printing firms with an international presence were established before 2020. According to EqualOcean’s analysis, 3D printing companies that have overseas operations share the following characteristics:
3D-printing equipment is the key component to the 3D-printing process, both in terms of its products and services. No company focuses solely on the manufacturing of 3D printing equipment. Many companies are attempting to expand upstream, downstream and into surrounding areas as they develop and manufacture hardware. Many companies are also involved in 3D-printing accessories, 3D-printing design software, or 3D-printing materials (consumables). EqualOcean found that the more complete a product chain is, the higher the chances of becoming an integrated solution provider in the 3D printing field.
Secondly, Europe, North America and Asia remain the major markets in terms of distribution. In the United States, and Germany most companies have marketing or branch offices. These are closely linked to the advanced 3D-printing industry and applications in these two nations. According to Wohlers Associates, the United States is the leader in the 3D Printing Industry and Market, followed by China Japan and Germany. EqualOcean believes the high demand for 3D printers is closely related with the manufacturing capabilities of the past or current, as reflected by the high market share industrial-grade 3D prints.
The future applications of 3D printing will be vast, especially as advanced manufacturing industries emerge around the world. At the industrial level, subtractive manufacturing is plagued by many problems such as waste of resources and high costs for recycling. Additive Manufacturing maximizes raw material utilization, aligning itself with global energy saving and emission reduction goals. This attracts more attention and support.