2019 Market Trends Series: What’s Next for Plastics?

January 3, 2019 • Posted in Market Insights

As we usher in the new year, we spoke with each of M. Holland’s market managers to hear what drove their respective market segments in 2018 and what they anticipate for the new year. If their responses are any indication, 2019 will be just as exciting, challenging, and even more technologically advanced than 2018.

In this blog series, our market experts predict what is in store for the plastics industry in 2019, with highlights from each of the following segments:

3D Printing Research & Development Paving the Way for Greater Adoption

In the first installment of “2019 Market Trends: What’s Next for Plastics?”, our 3D printing engineering specialist, Haleyanne Freedman, discusses how further investments in research and development are paving the way for the widespread adoption of 3D printing for industrial and manufacturing use cases. Here is what Haleyanne had to say:

“3D printing was a new market for M. Holland in 2018 and one for which we expect to see continued growth in 2019. With desktop 3D printers already so accessible in today’s world, large chemical companies are investing more and more in the research and development of advanced materials for 3D printing. This is resulting in higher-quality and more consistent materials, further enabling the widespread adoption of the technology. With machinery constantly improving and changing, being consultative experts in this space has truly allowed M. Holland to help its clients closely evaluate the most effective methods for molding and manufacturing applications.

Metallic 3D printing is also improving in cost and accuracy. We expect to see an increase in the adoption of metal printing for the production of end-use tooling and molds for plastic injection molding. As the design concepts for additive manufacturing become more commonplace and skill sets are further developed across the workforce, the usage of these methods will only increase. Tools such as generative design and topology optimization software are also gradually gaining traction. These processes greatly reduce the required amount of material and can only be performed via 3D printing. We expect these design and material trends to greatly influence the use of additive manufacturing for industrial applications.

Lastly, selective laser sintering (SLS) machinery is becoming more accessible and easier to use. This method is by far the most suitable for low-run production and creating repeatable, aesthetically pleasing, and stronger production applications. This process enables the end user to realize the best of all worlds – strength, aesthetic, and cost. In 2019, we expect to see a lot of those applications convert to 3D printing manufacturing methods.”

Plastic Resin Distributor M Holland Haleyanne Freedman – Authored by Haleyanne Freedman, Global 3D Printing Engineering Specialist, 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing

In our next installment of the 2019 Market Trend Series, we will be hearing from M. Holland’s Market Manager for Healthcare, Josh Blackmore. Stay tuned and check back in for more, including market outlooks from our Automotive, Film and Flexible Packaging, Wire and Cable, rotational molding, and color and compounding market managers.

What are you most excited about for plastics and the 3D printing market in 2019? Let us know on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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