A recent market research report, “3D Printing in Healthcare Market: Role and Opportunities,” released by IndustryARC notes that the healthcare industry is one of fastest adopters of 3D printing. As of 2014 the global 3D printing healthcare market recorded revenues of $487 million and IndustryARC expects it to grow by 18.3% annually until the year 2020. Currently North America is the leading consumer of 3D printing technology in the healthcare industry and accounted for 39.7% of the entire market share in 2014.
Based on such opportunity, Proto Labs signaled its commitment to the additive manufacturing market by opening a 77,000 sq-ft facility in Cary, NC facility, which will house all of the company’s North American 3D printers.
“The healthcare space is a very important industry for us, one of our biggest in fact,” says Proto Lab’s 3D Printing Product Manager, Greg Thompson. “Adoption of 3D printing has helped drive tremendous growth, especially as applications expand from prototyping into end-use production parts.
Thompson says the goals for the facility include adding 170 jobs to support that growth as well as test new technologies to expand additive manufacturing capabilities. “We expect to continue and see a very high growth in the number of businesses using 3D printing as part of their design process.”
OEM’s understanding of 3D printing capabilities will also grow, Thompson says, noting that it is already used in a variety of applications including surgical guides, medical models, equipment, and implantable devices.
He says that Proto Labs wants to make a difference by enabling 3D printing and digital manufacture that will drive innovation and revenue growth in the medical technology sector. The company plans to continue to be technology agnostic. The facility offers stereolithography, selective laser sintering, and direct metal laser sintering as well as support services. “We have a full suite of services so we can offer the best solution for customer-specific and project-specific needs.”