PT Blog

Ultimaker has released some interesting findings regarding the current state of 3D printing adoption rates, as well as a look into the future of the market. The company released its first annual 3D Printing Sentiment Index on Nov. 19. Independent research conducted by Savanta, an international research firm, details a comprehensive view of the current and future potential for 3D printing in 12 countries worldwide. The quantified index reveals the U.S., U.K., and Germany have the highest expectations for implementing additive manufacturing and capitalizing on its opportunities.

The index is a measure of market awareness and adoption; adoption levels over time; as well as overall sentiment towards the potential impact of the technology. It is based on 2,548 interviews with professionals and in-depth analysis of macro-economic factors. Five key elements were investigated: market awareness, adoption and install base, 3D printing growth indicators, perceived future impact and optimism, and technology infrastructure and ease of adoption. Overall, 67% of respondents are currently aware of the terms ‘3D printing’ and ‘additive manufacturing.’ However, something to note—only 35% have adopted the technology. While at the same time, nearly two thirds—65%—think that 3D printing will revolutionize their industry and nearly 40% say that 3D printing will bring significant operational efficiencies and cost savings to their businesses over the coming 12 months, indicating the market’s rapid evolution.

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To address the first need, Groleau started RJG Associates as a training and consulting firm in 1985. That was followed in short order in 1989 by the creation of RJG Technologies as an equipment company supplying sensors and data-acquisition systems. The two units merged into RJG Inc. in 1999 to provide molders with technology and training.

In late August, I visited RJG’s headquarters in Traverse City, Mich. on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, to acquaint myself with the training portion of the company’s business, taking part in a 3-day Systematic Molding class. My classmates numbered 13 and were diverse in age (20’s to 50’s), markets served (medical, automotive, and pipe fittings) and geographic base (Alabama, Michigan and Hungary).

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More advances continue to take place in chemical recycling. Henkel has produced Perwoll bottles using chemically recycled plastic in collaboration with packaging manufacturer Alpla—this pilot project is part of the ChemCycling project led by BASF.

“We see huge potential for chemical recycling to complement conventional mechanical recycling,” said Thorsten Leopold, head of international packaging development home care at Henkel. “Mechanical recycling is limited by the fact that not all plastic waste can be reprocessed into useable material. Thanks to chemical recycling, fossil resources can be replaced with recycled material made from plastic waste. This project is an important additional step towards creating a circular economy for plastic – on this basis we are evaluating further opportunities for integrating chemically recycled plastic in our product packaging.”

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In four short months, the injection molding industry will gather in Chicago for Molding 2020—the 30th edition of the all-things-molding conference and exhibit. From March 17-19 at the Westin Chicago Lombard, the full spectrum of the molding industry—from OEMS, designers, molders, and moldmakers to the suppliers of the software, equipment and materials they need—will be on hand to share knowledge and connect.

The preliminary agenda has been finalized and portions of it can be found on the conference web site. In terms of tracks, Molding 2020 will organize speakers by numerous broad-ranging topics, including:

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Now in mid-fourth quarter, it appears that there’s a consensus that a buyers market best characterizes at the very least the five volume commodity resin markets, with a downslide in pricing for nearly all.

Here’s a recent takeaway at how our industry colleagues with pricing expertise view things for each of the five major commodity volume resins. They include purchasing consultants from Resin Technology, Inc. (RTi), Fort Worth, Texas; senior editors from Houston-based PetroChemWire; and CEO Michael Greenberg of the Plastics Exchange in Chicago.

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