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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Thomas Index Report.
Additive manufacturing technology — commonly referred to as 3D printing — continues to make impressive inroads into a myriad of industries across the manufacturing spectrum. Maximizing what is known as factory physics, additive manufacturing has the capacity to transform digitally rendered designs into lighter, stronger, and safer products with reduced lead times and lower costs.
From cosmetics to rocket ships and nearly everything in between, these new technologies are redefining how things get made. According to Global News Wire, the global 3D market is revolutionizing nearly every facet of manufacturing today and is projected to grow from $18 billion in 2022 to $84 billion by 2029.
Perhaps the most inspiring applications of these new technologies have been in the health and medical industry, where the individualized nature of patient care makes the customization capabilities of 3D printing an ideal fit.
Researchers have discovered a way to bio-print living skin with functioning blood vessels, a crucial step toward creating artificial grafts that look and respond like natural skin. Scientists are also experimenting with the use of 3D technology to manufacture critical organs, including kidneys, heart, and liver.
The pharmaceutical industry is likewise buzzing with new possibilities, using 3D technology to print pills with complex structures that promote drug absorptions while also reducing adverse drug reactions. If that isn’t impressive enough, 3D printing is proving to be highly cost-effective, paving the way for lower health care costs.
In support of the many game-changing possibilities of additive manufacturing, Xometry, Thomas’ parent company, has partnered with a non-profit organization, Blue Heart Hero, to custom-make medical prosthetics and assistive devices to help people with limb differences. Their first design contest helped 7-year-old Mia realize her dream of becoming an archer. Mia was born with a partial right arm, and a 3D printed plastic prosthesis was created specifically for her needs. Able to be printed overnight at low costs, the personalized device enabled Mia to firmly hold a bow and send out her first arrow.
With all the seemingly unlimited potential, it’s not surprising to see additive manufacturing sourcing on Thomasnet.com up 19% in Q2 in 2022 versus the previous quarter and 52% year over year.
I am Cathy Ma and this is the Thomas Index Report.
Top 10 Categories with the Most Sourcing Activity Month Over Month
- Brackets: 30900.0%
- Fluids: Cutting, Metal: 9633.3%
- Boxes: Wooden, Shipping: 7400.0%
- Tanks: Underground: 4662.5%
- Forklift Rental & Leasing: 4633.3%
- Cable Assemblies: 3504.9%
- Totes: 3500.0%
- Coolants: 2962.5%
- Containers: Storage: 2327.3%
- Trailer Parts: 2305.0%
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Image Credit: TIR