The footwear segment stands to benefit tremendously from additive manufacturing’s potential in mass customization and product personalization. SmarTech Analysis recently published a new report titled, Additive Manufacturing in the Footwear Industry, on how AM will affect this industry.
The use of additive manufacturing (AM) and revenues connected to 3D printed footwear products are projected to generate more than $6.5 billion (USD) in yearly global revenues by 2029, growing at a 19.5% CAGR. The report forecasts that by 2023 more than $1 billion (USD) will be generated by 3D printed footwear parts alone, including additively manufactured insoles, midsoles and uppers.
Key firms in this segment include 3ntr, 3D Systems, 3DTi, adidas, Carbon, Crocs, EOS, Brooks Running, Anta, Aetrex ECCO, Feetz, Kings 3D, New Balance, Nike, OESH Shoes, Phits, Prodways, RESA, Scientifeet, SOLS Systems, Stratasys, Superfeet, Under Armour, Union Tech, Voxel8, Wiivv, Zoles and several more.
The report highlights the most relevant business opportunities that lie ahead for companies invested in the AM industry, including materials, hardware and service providers.
From the Report:
–SmarTech expects that footwear 3D printing related revenues currently represent roughly 0.3% of global footwear market revenues. This value – which is inclusive of AM hardware, AM software, prototyping and tooling as well as end-use products related revenues – is expected to grow to about 1.5% of overall global footwear revenues by 2029.
–Prototyping with 3D printing is a relatively consolidated practice in the footwear industry and is expected to continue to expand as the sector shifts toward digital additive manufacturing for final parts production. The key benefits of implementing 3D printing in production are similar to those observed in most consumer (and non-consumer) products.
–The 3D printed footwear segment is expected to become the largest 3D printed consumer product segment – along with housewares. This is the only segment today where cases of mass production through AM processes have proven to be viable and cost-effective solutions. SmarTech expects that this trend will continue to increase as the cost of materials decreases and the speed and productivity of AM technologies increases.
–The most relevant family of AM hardware technologies used in footwear mass production today is photopolymerization, intended as both traditional (SLA/DLP), and “layerless,” such as Carbon’s digital light synthesis. Powder bed fusion, intended both as SLS (laser based) but also thermal PBF technologies such as HP’s multijet fusion and – SmarTech expects – voxeljet HSS (high speed sintering) are also highly relevant for mass customization applications.
–Overall demand of AM materials in the footwear industry is expected to reach 3.7 thousand metric tonnes by 2029. AM Powders are expected to experience the most demand by the end of the forecast period, representing 1.8 million tonnes, roughly 50% of total material demand.
–While most current footwear industry AM needs are outsourced to either dedicated or generalist prototyping and production services, SmarTech expects that over time the majority of AM usage in the footwear industry will take place in-house. This means that footwear is a key long-term opportunity for hardware manufacturers but also a key short and medium terms opportunity for AM service bureaus.
–Much of the footwear industry’s prototyping and mold-making services are carried out in Asia, where most of the footwear mass manufacturing takes place.
–Adoption of additive manufacturing in the footwear industry is highly dependent on the greater availability of 3D data capturing technologies that can seamlessly acquire user biometric and geometric information.
–Final parts are already a very significant business opportunity in footwear 3D printing, representing 34% of all revenues associated with 3D-printed footwear parts and growing to 54%.
–Midsoles 3D printing is expected to be the most significant revenue opportunity, generating as much as $1.5 billion by the end of the forecast period and growing at a 24% CAGR.
Further details of the report can be found at: www.smartechanalysis.com/reports/additive-manufacturing-footwear-industry/