Jan.16, 2014

LG Chem (LG Chemical), South Korea's largest chemical company, plans to jump into the rapidly emerging 3D printing market earlier than others.

LG Chem is in talks with 3D printer company Stratasys to supply ABS plastics, according to a local source. "To our knowledge, LG Chem may have already begun providing ABS for Stratasys."

LG Chem supplies ABS plastic pallets to over 1,000 processing companies in Korea and worldwide. And one of them will produce the material for Stratasys' 3D printers. According to a LG Chem official, the company is expanding its ABS sales to processing companies. "Although the ABS market for 3-D printers is still small, we believe it will see further growth." he added.

LG Chem says in September 2013 that it plans to start operations at a new 150,000 mt/year ABS plant in Huizhou, southern China's Guangdong province. The plant will be a joint venture with state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp.

3D printing receives explosive attention worldwide, and other Korean companies like SK Chemicals and Hyosung are also actively seeking to develop plastic materials for 3D printer market, even though the local 3D printing market is still pretty small.

According a recent report from Markets and Markets, the global 3D printing materials market like plastics and metals could be worth $408.5 Million by 2018. Plastics are in high demand, especially ABS and PLA. Influenced by the growing awareness of the ability to manufacture objects with the use of 3D printing technology, the demand for plastic materials has grown aggressively and is expected to continue in the next five years. The report states the market for 3D printing plastic materials in terms of revenue was worth $70.5 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $209.6 million by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 19.9% from 2013 to 2018.

LG Chem and local Korean companies see that 3D printing technology has unlimited potential and want to enter into the market with good-quality but low price materials at an early stage. Globally, U.S., Japan, China, U.K., and Germany are the major countries with a huge demand for 3D printing materials. The 3D printing materials market is moderately fragmented, and many companies concentrate on expanding their geographical reach.


Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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