Three-dimensional printing is getting better at manufacturing electronics, with electronics and consumer products created through the 3-D printing process generating $681 million in revenue in 2015.
Growth for the segment is expected to remain strong, according to an article published in the Deloitte University Press. Industry analysts predict that 3-D-printed electronics is likely to be the next high-growth application for product innovation, with its market size forecast to reach $1 billion by 2025.
Research is focusing more inward toward materials that can build a part’s internal circuitry, the paper said.
These materials include conductive inks — toners loaded with charged particles that build live circuity as they are laid down on a product with high precision.
The research covers some of the benefits of manufacturing electronics in this way, such as eliminating the need for flat circuit boards, which creates opportunities for new designs and shapes.
It allows for mass customization of electronic and electromechanical parts to adapt a product’s functionality to customer preferences.
Other advantages include simplifying assembly, lower material wastage and part weight, absence of harmful chemicals, reduction in product size and protection from external damage.