The Revolution of Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing application is limitless ranging from 3D Printing, Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), layered manufacturing, Rapid Prototyping (RP), and additive fabrication. The growing adoption of additive manufacturing is estimated to have a significant impact on the manufacturing industries, especially in the fields of prototyping, product designing, and tooling. Furthermore, this increasing adoption has also led to an introduction of multiple new technologies and rapid advancements both in terms of the machines and the materials used and has allowed the manufacturers to cut down on not only the cost of manufacturing but at the same time increasing the output and efficiency. In addition to this, it also allows for the manufacturing of complex designs while also easing the implementation of changes, if required. These benefits have resulted in a strong adoption of this technology in the fields of aerospace and defense, automotive, healthcare, and semiconductor industries, which are estimated to hold a noteworthy share in the additive manufacturing market. Increasing the defense budget in various parts of the world coupled with the increasing investment in research and development is expected to boost the adoption of additive manufacturing in the aerospace and defense industry in the coming years. For instance, according to the World Bank, Military expenditure at current USD in India, China, and Indonesia has increased from US$33.002, US$86.36, US$3.232 billion in 2008 to US$66.51, US$249.99, and US$7.43 billion by the end of 2018. Along with this, the rapid investments and expansions in these industries are also projected to positively impact the global additive manufacturing market. This increase adoption of additive manufacturing in core manufacturing processes has also resulted in an increased demand for more dependable materials, in the form of metals, which are estimated to see a staggering rise in demand in the coming years. Thermoplastics, which were the go-to material for additive manufacturing in the early days of the technology are still witnessing decent demand, however, the global outlook towards a reduction in the use of plastics is assessed to be a major concern for this segment’s demand.

additive manufacturing market

Additive manufacturing technologies such as Binder Jetting is a relatively new 3D printing technology which utilizes a liquid-based binder material and a powder building material for the 3D additive process. In addition, the rapid advancements in technology and its increasing utilization by multiple players in the market are estimated to boost its demand in the coming years. In December 2017, General Electric Additive released the first image of a binder jetting technology-based additive machine (project name H1), with its plans to include further iterations of the product by early 2018 and start the shipping of the products by mid-2018.  In addition to this, there are rapid advancements in the materials for 3D printing for binder jetting technology, which is thus estimated to further strengthen the growth of the binder jetting technology market in the coming years. In September 2019, Digital Metal announced the availability of its two new superalloys for its DM P2500 binder jetting platform which are considered as one of the latest and most advanced technologies in the market.

additive manufacturing market

Source: The World Bank, Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Analysis

On the basis of material type, the additive manufacturing market is segmented as metals, thermoplastics, ceramics, and glass. Thermoplastics are estimated to hold a noteworthy share in the market owing to its early adoption and easier availability. The rapid advancements in the field of metals for additive manufacturing are estimated to shoot its demand in the years to come. Ceramics and glass additive manufacturing are also estimated to hold a good share and grow at a decent pace during the forecast period. Metals are a commonly used material in additive manufacturing owing to its increased versatility and chemical properties allowing it to be used across multiple industries such as automotive, aerospace and defense, and construction, among others. The demand for metal-based additive manufacturing is estimated to increase in the coming years on account of rising applications of additive manufacturing in multiple industries to manufacture working prototypes and tools. In November 2019, Volkswagen announced that the company, alongside with GNK and HP, 3D printed 10,000 metal parts for the automotive sector with the help of HP’s Metal Jet System. In addition to this, the rapid advancements in the field of metal additive manufacturing, such as the introduction of new materials and technology are estimated to shoot this demand further during the forecast period.

For example, in November 2019, 6K, formerly known as Amastan Technologies, a leading producer of advanced materials for use in additive manufacturing, and other industries, announced their new premium additive manufacturing ready metal powders, which will be shown at FormNext in Frankfurt, in November. Furthermore, rising investments in the field of metal additive manufacturing are also estimated to further widen the scope of this market in the years to come. In October 2019, UK’s Manufacturing Technology Center opened its new metal additive manufacturing hub in Coventry, England. Similarly, in the same month, US-based Remet Metal Labs also opened a metal additive manufacturing laboratory for the production of prototype parts in Poland. Moreover, the entry of newer market players in the metal additive manufacturing market is further estimated to fuel the growth of this segment in the years to come. In November 2019, Alpha Laser GmbH, a mobile laser welding and cladding machine manufacturer, entered the additive manufacturing industry with the launch of its AL3D-Metal additive manufacturing system.

Key players in the field are asserting their dominance through major investments towards expansion, mergers and acquisition, product launches, and more. Furthermore, technological advancements in the field and the rapid rise in the demand for additive manufacturing has also resulted in the entry of multiple new players in the field. However, the market is still estimated to be dominated by older players, with only breakthrough technologies leaving a significant mark on the market.