ion into the sector this year. This makes it the third-largest market behind the US and Western Europe.
Beijing has homed in on a series of policies to advance 3D printers. In the past, the Min
istry of Industry and Information Technology, the industry regulator, had released the National 3D Printing Indus
try Development Plan (2015-2016), which established goals for the sector’s innovation and commercialization.
Separately, the ministry came up with a second action plan later in December 2017 to give a further boost. In its latest move, it included the
sector in the nation’s strategic emerging industries list, heralding massive opportunities for related companies.
But the technology itself has experienced challenges over time. At the early stage, most of the 3D printers were used for rapid pr
ototyping – meaning, mimicking early-stage product mock-ups. Commercialization was not imminent.