The Prospects For The Development Of 3D Printing In Mainland China Are Very Promising But The Industry Bottleneck Is Difficult To Overcome

- Apr 02, 2018-

The prospects for the development of 3D printing in Mainland China are very promising but the industry bottleneck is difficult to overcome

As an early concept of innovation in China, 3D printing has been sweeping A shares for more than two years with the concept of “additive manufacturing”. This new technology, which is supposed to lead the “fourth industrial revolution”, has spread from abroad to abroad. From the spread of traditional industries to the capital market, it also brought a concept of stocking prices to the A-share dozens of concept companies.

Although the prospects are full, the reality is still skinny. The domestic market's 3D printing not only starts late, the overall industrial production mode is extensive, and the volume is small. It lacks a mature business model, and it faces the problems of shortage of supplies and high costs, and it is difficult to realize the dilemma of large-scale mass production. According to public information, the concept of A-share 3D printing has not brought fundamental benefits to related concept companies in the past two years.

The development prospect of 3D printing is very full

"At present, most of the listed companies whose A shares are involved in 3D printing are still in the research and development stage, and they have not yet become sophisticated and mature industrial products. The secondary market is still in the hype stage of the theme concept," said one person familiar with 3D printing investment.

The prospects are full

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is an emerging rapid prototyping technology. It uses a three-dimensional digital model design and uses laser sintering and other technological means to realize superposition molding of raw materials. This method is the first one. Digital manufacturing in the full sense and possible future bio/bionic manufacturing.

The 3D printing technology in the modern sense was born in the United States in the mid-1980s. It has been developed over more than 20 years in foreign countries, but it has been paid attention to by capital in China, especially in the A-share market, and it has only been more than two years. One person familiar with 3D printing pointed out that the biggest difference between this new technology and traditional manufacturing industry lies in the process of product molding. 3D printing eliminates the complex process of traditional manufacturing, without the need for molds and molding, so 3D printing can overcome Some of the traditionally unmanufacturable designs create more complex structures.

Industrial Securities analysts estimate that the scale of the global printing market will reach US$10 billion in 2016, and the market scale will increase exponentially, reaching US$13 billion by 2018 and US$20 billion by 2020.

“We expect that the domestic 3D printing will usher in the window period in the next 3 to 5 years, and the potential market demand will be huge. The 3D printing industry has broad application prospects, surpassing traditions, and is widely used in industrial manufacturing, military, construction, medical, automotive, etc. Future 3D industries Development requires the use of civilian blocks, mold design, and military manufacturing to drive three carriages,” said Industrial Securities analysts. According to statistics from Wohlers Associates, 3D printing is currently used in two major areas of consumer electronics and automotive industry, accounting for 36% of the total, and is also being promoted in aerospace manufacturing and medical fields.

It is understood that at present, aerospace manufacturing and biomedical care are considered to be the two most widely used areas for industrial 3D printing in the future.

"Compared to traditional manufacturing technologies, industrial-grade 3D printers have greater advantages in areas such as aerospace manufacturing and biomedical, which are not cost-sensitive, do not require large-scale production, and personalization. They are expected to become the main 3D printing market in the future. Source, said Zhang Lei, an analyst at China Investment Securities.

Under the prospect of fullness in the industry, the speculation of capital in the A-share market followed closely, not only in the equipment category such as China Industrial Technology Corporation, Huazhong CNC, Zhonghaida, etc., but also in the supplies of Yinbang, Hongchang Electronics, and technical stocks. , Han's laser and other funds have been hot fried.

Industry bottlenecks difficult to overcome

Although the prospects are full, but after more than two years of speculation, there are sellers who bluntly stated that although there are many companies involved in 3D printing in China, they are still in the stage of extensive production equipment, lacking core leading fish companies, and more importantly, domestic 3D printing. Due to problems such as production efficiency, shortage of materials, and lack of core technologies, enterprises may not be able to achieve batch and scale production in the short term.

"At present, China's 3D printing industry is still in its infancy. From the perspective of the entire industry, due to the lack of leading role of leading enterprises, the government temporarily lacks targeted support measures and the overall industrial volume is still small; on the other hand, China's manufacturing industry It is still in an extensive form, and the impact of various links on the impact brought by 3D printing technology is still insufficient and acceptability is low.” Southwest Securities has analyzed the insufficiency of domestic 3D printing, claiming that the total market size of domestic 3D printing is only about 200 million yuan. (Including equipment requirements).

In addition to the late start-up of domestic industries and extensive industry, 3D printing has its biggest congenital deficiency compared with traditional industries. It cannot be commercialized in mass production, which is the most criticized in the industry.

At the beginning of the wave of 3D printing technology in China, Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Chairman Terry Gou had bombarded the media with 3D printing. He said that 3D printing technology cannot be used in commercial applications for mass production and has no commercial value. He took a phone made with 3D printing as an example to show that the phone could be manufactured, but it can only be seen and cannot be used. Therefore, 3D printed goods cannot be electronic components and cannot be mass-produced in electronic products.

The reason, some analysts pointed out, on the one hand, 3D printing supplies are very limited. At present, the raw materials of 3D printing consumables are mainly divided into only 10 kinds such as gypsum, inorganic powder, photosensitive resin, plastics, and ceramics, and the price is relatively expensive, especially for metals.

In the opinion of many people in the industry, the shortage of consumables corresponding to domestic 3D equipment is mainly due to two reasons: they cannot make money cheaply, and manufacturers are reluctant to produce, while the existing technology of expensive consumables cannot keep up due to lack of policy support and Subsidies, manufacturers are not willing to invest capital and labor costs to R & D.

On the other hand, the price of 3D printers is very high. Most desktop 3D printers are priced at 20,000 yuan. The price of domestic imitation products is about 6,000 yuan, but the quality is difficult to guarantee. In addition, 3D printing has certain limitations in terms of product accuracy, production time, and other production efficiencies, and it has also become one of the main reasons for obstructing mass production.

Xue Huiqiang, co-founder of Black Ship Technology, believes that 3D printing technology is good at solving the problems of personalization, complexity, and difficult production technology. This is exactly what traditional manufacturing industry dreams about, but the mass production and large-scale production that the traditional manufacturing industry is good at. , it is the inherent deficiency of 3D printing. That is to say, 3D printing has the advantage of achieving what it is designed to achieve in terms of design and creativity, but turning the model into a commodity still depends on the characteristics of mass production and scale of traditional manufacturing.

"At present, A-share 3D printing companies have few core technologies and most of them are in the experimental R&D phase. There are no large-scale finished products available. In the short term, the 3D printing industry must truly realize a complete industrial chain from design to mass production. It's still hard," said one buyer person.

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