The Flexible Filament 3D Printing Material market was valued at US$43.009 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.26% over the forecast period to reach a total market size of US$288.729 million by 2026.
A flexible filament is made from Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE), which are a mixture of hard plastics and rubber. The material can flex and stretch easily owing to its elastic nature. TPE comes in various types, with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) being the most popular. The filaments PETG and PLA cannot be used to print things such as RC airplane wheels and flexible phone cases. In the meantime, flexible filaments are the ideal choice as filaments for this application. Another option to expand your 3D printer's capabilities is to use flexible filaments. These filaments provide flexibility and great adhesion between layers, along with sometimes also elasticity, unlike most common materials (such as PLA or PET-G). It is possible to print flexible objects with extreme resistance to mechanical wear and tear. It is common to use flexible filaments for automotive components, household appliances, or medical devices. Due to their soft and elastic nature, filaments are capable of withstanding high loads. Several market leaders seized the opportunity and started using flexible filaments to grow their businesses. A prime example is Nike. For the production of the Flyprint upper, Nike used a Solid Deposition Modelling (SDM) procedure. This is similar to fused deposition modeling and is built by using flexible TPU filament.
This material is well suited for adding value to various industries, including footwear, where it can be used to create elastic soles, or the automotive industry, where tires and shock absorbers can be made. Using TPU filament makes it easy to make functional prototypes, concept models, and custom components. Mobile phone covers are often made from this type of material, as it protects the device from shocks and fractures. To keep up with the market, companies conduct continuous research and development. Recreus, a manufacturer of 3D printing materials in Spain, has launched a new flexible TPU filament that is 100% recyclable in February 2021.
Unlike ABS, PLA, or nylon, TPU 3D printing is capable of enabling possibilities not otherwise possible. TPU combines the properties of rubber and plastic to create highly durable, elastic, bendable parts. TPU is most commonly used for consumer goods, such as accessories for phones and footwear components. Medical applications can also be made with TPU. TPU is also great for automotive applications like seals, gaskets, plugs, tubes, and protective applications. Since it has high chemical resistance to oils and greases, these materials are popular for creating orthopedic models. Manufacturers launch new innovative products to maintain their competitiveness. Acreus introduced Conductive Filaflex in July 2021 to the industry as an electrically conductive filament suitable for 3D printing. This new TPU filament is flexible, electrically conductive, and can be used to make wearable electronics and electrically conductive components. The printing technology can also be used in flexible electronics, for example for the manufacture of electromagnetic signal isolators, pressure-sensitive buttons, and for the connection of computers, joysticks, Arduino, digital keyboards, trackpads, and even surface electrodes. iFactory3D's new machine, the iFactory One Plus, has been upgraded and modified since the launch of its debut conveyor belt 3D printer, the iFactory One, in April 2021. With the One Plus, you can print with flexible filament and at higher temperatures, as well as a modified belt tensioning system and a new cooling system designed for serial production. Touted as "the world's most durable TPE filament," NinjaTek®, a Fenner Precision Polymers brand, announced the global release of ChinchillaTM, a 75A durometer filament for 3D printers. NinjaTek's exclusive extrusion method and engineering grade resins combine to produce material that is unique for its softness as well as its ease of printing.
There are some drawbacks to flexible filaments such as TPEs, however. They are soft, flexible, and can often be difficult to handle by extruders in 3D printers. Likewise, these materials can buckle when extruded. In addition, they can suffer from uneven printing surfaces due to rapid movement. These materials also absorb moisture due to their hydrophobic properties. Filaments can pop up and sizzle if they are not stored properly, causing your 3D prints to sizzle. These factors may hinder the growth of the flexible filaments market during the forecast period.
Several manufacturing units of the end-users have slowed production in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, affecting the supply chain of 3D printing filaments. As the markets affected by Coronavirus are geographically located where it has the most impact, the 3D printing filament market, including the demand for flexible filament, has been slightly impacted by COVID-19. The 3D printing filaments headquarters and principal subsidiaries are located in the areas highly impacted by Coronaviruses, so the COVID-19 negatively impacted the flexible filament 3D Printing Market supply chain as the demand was low and production slowed in many factories. A positive impact, however, has been caused by COVID-19's effect on 3D printing filament markets since 3D printing is also used for medical purposes. Due to COVID-19, medical equipment demand grew, alongside the adoption of flexible filaments for 3D printing.
|Market size value in 2019||US$43.009 million|
|Market size value in 2026||US$288.729 million|
|Growth Rate||CAGR of 31.26% from 2019 to 2026|
|Forecast Unit (Value)||USD Million|
|Segments covered||Colour, Diameter, And Geography|
|Regions covered||North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific|
|Companies covered||3DXTech, 3D4Makers, Rigid.ink, Taulman3D, Treed Filaments, 3D PrintLife, EUMakers|
|Customization scope||Free report customization with purchase|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What are the growth prospects for the flexible filament 3D printing material market?
A1. The global flexible filament 3D printing material market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.26% during the forecast period.
Q2. What will be the flexible filament 3D printing material market size by 2026?
A2. The flexible filament 3D printing material market is expected to reach a market size of US$288.729 million by 2026.
Q3. What is the size of the global flexible filament 3D printing material market?
A3. Flexible Filament 3D Printing Material Market was valued at US$43.009 million in 2019.
Q4. How is the flexible filament 3D printing material market segmented?
A4. The flexible filament 3D printing material market has been segmented by color, diameter, and geography.
Q5. Who are the major players in the flexible filament 3D printing material market?
A5. Prominent key market players in the flexible filament 3D printing material market include 3DXTech, 3D4Makers, Rigid.ink, Taulman3D, Treed Filaments, 3D PrintLife, EUMakers, among others.
1.1. Market Definition
1.2. Market Segmentation
2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
2.1. Research Data
3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
3.1. Research Highlights
4. MARKET DYNAMICS
4.1. Market Drivers
4.2. Market Restraints
4.3. Porters Five Forces Analysis
4.3.1. Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.3.2. Bargaining Powers of Buyers
4.3.3. Threat of Substitutes
4.3.4. The threat of New Entrants
4.3.5. Competitive Rivalry in Industry
4.4. Industry Value Chain Analysis
5. FLEXIBLE FILAMENT 3D PRINTING MATERIAL MARKET, BY COLOR
6. FLEXIBLE FILAMENT 3D PRINTING MATERIAL MARKET, BY DIAMETER
7. FLEXIBLE FILAMENT 3D PRINTING MATERIAL MARKET, BY GEOGRAPHY
7.2. North America
7.2.1. United States
7.3. South America
7.4.3. United Kingdom
7.5. Middle East and Africa
7.5.1. Saudi Arabia
7.6. Asia Pacific
7.6.3. South Korea
8. COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT AND ANALYSIS
8.1. Major Players and Strategy Analysis
8.2. Emerging Players and Market Lucrative
8.3. Mergers, Acquisition, Agreements, and Collaborations
8.4. Vendor Competitiveness Matrix
9. COMPANY PROFILES
9.5. Treed Filaments
9.6. 3D PrintLife
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