Additive manufacturing (AM) of polymers is where the 3D printing industry began. But this sector is profoundly changing as it shifts from a prototyping role to creating parts in healthcare, aerospace, automotive, and other industries. New polymers are now being 3D printed with technologies like material extrusion, photopolymerization, and powder bed fusion. The control of the materials supply chain is shifting from printer OEMs who have developed tight machine/material relationships to offer repeatable prototyping and tooling applications, to the global chemical and polymer manufacturing materials suppliers of the world as a desire for production parts is now stronger than ever. PAEK polymers, thermoplastic composites, polypropylene, elastomers, and various thermosetting polymers are all now being explored by multiple print technologies.
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