Conventional and Rapid Prototyping Market Analysis, Strategic Assessment 2022-2031


The global conventional and rapid prototyping market was valued at US$ 22.11 Bn in 2021. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.4% from 2022 to 2031. The global conventional and rapid prototyping market is expected to reach US$ 78.41 Bn by the end of 2031

Product prototyping is used to rapidly produce physical part of the product directly from its CAD model, using subtractive and additive manufacturing methods. It can be used for any product development cycle for components or sub-components. Product prototype and design testing is an integral part of new product development. Product prototyping is widely adopted for visual prototyping, concept modeling, functional prototyping, pre-production prototyping, and production tool prototyping. It offers several benefits such as reduction in design & development time, decrease in overall product development cost, and elimination or reduction of risk. It enables functionality testing at low cost, and improves and increases user involvement during design stages of product development.

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High volume of production and geometrical complexity of components are hampering the usage of traditional prototyping methods. Hence, customers are compelled to adopt processes and instruments that drive the final cost of the element being manufactured. Additive manufacturing techniques offer significant competitive advantages; they adapt to the geometrical complexity and bespoke design of the part that is to be created. Elegant geometrical forms, hollow interiors, internal channels, varied thicknesses, and irregular shapes can be manufactured accurately by 3D printing technologies using a geometrical template created from a 3D CAD. Products that are exactly the same or completely different can be obtained without affecting the process or incurring additional expenditure. This customization is one of the most important current developments in the production of high-value products.

Additive prototyping also offers various benefits that include light weight products, multilateral products, ergonomic products, efficient and short production runs, and fewer assembly errors. Several key players are launching innovative 3D printing services to gain competitive edge. In January 2020, Zortrax launched 3D printing service to expand the company’s entire product portfolio. The service includes prototyping, tooling, or end-use product application. The company aims to expand its printing capability in order to cater to a wide range of applications, from dental and jewelry products to electronic housings and automotive parts.

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Surgical fasteners, scalpels, retractors, and display systems are some of the medical devices that have been upgraded with the use of 3D technology. Prototyping technology is employed in the manufacture of medical equipment in addition to the design of these devices. Additive technologies are suitable for devices that need to be customized for a specific patient. Stereolithography or selective laser sintering is used to design a majority of hearing aids. Replacement of teeth is another area where rapid prototyping service is used.

Rapid prototyping materials are used in prosthetics. Prostheses are also custom-made for patients. Rapid prototyping materials are used to create models of complex organs in the body. Surgeons employ these models to acquire a realistic sense of structures before performing a surgical procedure. Stereolithography is a widely utilized technology for this application. The model’s most trustworthy features, such as transparency and color resin developments, enable a clear distinction between tumors and any other external growth in the body. In August 2021, Trelleborg Group announced the launch of its Healthcare & Medical Rapid Development Center for design, rapid prototyping, development, and serial production. It ensures cost control and scalability of customers’ solutions. This Rapid Development Center has been built to accelerate time to market, reduce the production cost of parts that are already in the market, and enhance the transition from design to serial production of products.

Rapid prototyping is also employed in tissue engineering and manufacture of biologically active implants. Selective laser sintering of ceramics is used in this application. This is boosting the adoption of conventional and rapid prototyping in the medical sector.

In terms of process, the global conventional and rapid prototyping market has been bifurcated into subtractive (traditional prototyping) and additive (rapid prototyping). The subtractive (traditional prototyping) segment held major share of 60.21% of the market in 2021. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% during the forecast period.

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The CNC machining sub-segment of the subtractive segment accounted for prominent share of 62.18% in 2021. Subtractive prototyping yields higher structural integrity, which is important if the prototype is to be used in product testing.

In terms of type, the global conventional and rapid prototyping market has been classified into proof-of-concept (PoC) prototype, functional prototype, visual prototype, and others. The functional prototype segment dominated the global conventional and rapid prototyping market with 43.18% share in 2021. Furthermore, the segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% during the forecast period. Functional prototype is usually a subsystem of a product and enables the testing of functional aspects. Functional prototypes offer a new way for design engineers to test designs before manufacturing them on a large scale. Creating functional or quick visual prototypes is an essential step of the development process. The making of a functional and working prototype is an essential part of any product development. It is integral to the process of testing, trials, pitching, and market research for many companies.

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