According to the study, the 3D printed wearables industry remains influenced by manufacturers’ focus on partnerships with technology providers to eliminate traditional limitations for design innovations.
Sensing the potential and consumer demand for 3D printed wearables, manufacturers have introduced a wide range of products – from footwear and clothes to jewelry and sports accessories.
The report finds that 3D printed footwear will remain the top-selling category, accounting for one-fourth market share. 3D printing is expected to be the future of bespoke fashion, making mass customization mainstream, while optimizing the use of resources.
3D printing holds significant potential in enhancing product developments in the wearables industry, enabling manufacturers to create prototypes and establish a proof of concept. Although the high initial cost of 3D printers does remain a key concern, the low cost of operations and the convenience element are expected to offer long-term benefits for manufacturers.
According to the study, the footwear industry has taken the lead in the adoption of 3D printing technology, with product offerings that range from shoes to insoles with personalized design. This trend of custom-made solutions in the footwear industry is likely to encourage companies to improve their processes and realize measurable returns on their investment.
The role of 3D printing in revolutionizing the manufacturing process as a whole while enabling mass production of customized products is expected to complement the future growth of the 3D printed wearables market.
This study opines that the scope of 3D printing technology is extensive in the field of medical wearables, and has created opportunities hitherto unforeseen in surgical and medical fields. Research in this sector has been inclined towards making living tattoos that act as sensors, to making viable organs that could revolutionize the transplantation process and printing bacteria for potential applications in the medical field.
The convenience of providing the accessibility of information to consumers, and tracking and monitoring their healthcare needs, is one of the leading aspects governing the attraction toward and adoption of medical wearables. This has led to a better understanding of conditions, for greater control over the end result. Even as the functionality of wearables increases, a growing security risk is expected to be a major concern holding back the rate of progress in the field.
The study finds that 3D printed wearable manufacturers will benefit from new solutions that feature mixed material printing. Key players in the market are partnering with engineers, mathematicians and architects for creating high-end 3D printed wearables for the future, which would feature added functionalities and improved accessibility to a wider array of data. As more wearable manufacturers turn to 3D printing for accelerated production and waste reduction, gains in the market are expected to surge at a significant pace in the foreseeable future.
According to the study, Europe and North America remain lucrative markets for 3D printed wearables, collectively accounting for ~70% shares. This can be attributed to a notable rise in the number of wearable startups, along with the focus of key players on shifting their portfolio from fundamental wearables to smarter products with higher degrees of functionality.