China will become a "frontrunner" in 3D printing in Asia-Pacific, with the technology expected to become mainstream by 2018 as South Korea and India unveil supportive policies to boost the industry, International Data Corp said yesterday.
A 3D printing machine prints a vase at the 3D Printing Demonstration Base in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Dec. 30, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
Manufacturers are exploring ways to reduce dependency on traditional labor intensive processes in manufacturing, the research firm said.
"Applications for 3D printing will extend beyond just being prototype in manufacturing and health care especially," said Mun Chun Lim, IDC’s analyst. "Consumers are now more educated and will seek benefits of incorporating 3D printing into different areas."
By 2018, 3D printing will be a mainstream technology that will see large and established document printers, contract manufacturers and electronics vendors adopting the technology.
The medical sector is set to see the strongest growth in 3D printing in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan as the government encourages compatibility and acceptance of 3D printing, especially in China.
The 3D imaging and printing and virtual reality have a huge potential in hospitals and will bring hope to children awaiting operations. The 3D printing services and related databases are available in local hospitals, said doctors and companies, including Materialise, Hisense and Dassault System.
Around 3-5 percent of children suffering heart diseases need 3D printing to assist in the surgery. At the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, this means about 100 children patients annually could benefit from 3D printing in surgery, said Liu Jinfen, head of its heart disease research center.