New product developments and corporate agreements are among the key approaches adopted by the leading market players to achieve growth in the global 3D Printing Metals market.
3D Printing Metals Market By Form (Powder and Filament), By Type (Titanium, Nickel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Others), By Application (Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Medical & Dental, Others), and By Region – Global Forecast to 2020
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The growing demand for metal powders in additive manufacturing and 3D printing has led to significant developments in the 3D printing metals market. Powder-based printers are usually complex to manufacture and are used by a few industries, such as aerospace, defense, and automotive that require high precision.
New developments in metal powders have led to a large number of innovations in the market. As such, the knowledge about these new innovations is being transmitted by various trade and industrial associations through a number of trade fairs and conferences across the globe. As a part of such initiative, Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), an American association of metal powder manufacturer, organized an event Additive Manufacturing with Powder Metallurgy (AMPM) in 2014 in Orlando, Florida, which received good response from powder manufacturers and 3D printer manufacturers.
Emerging companies in the 3D printing metals market have been entering new domains by adopting strategies of partnerships and deals. Manufacturers of powder-based 3D printers have the potential to promote new powders and metals for 3D printing. Thus, it has also been observed that these manufacturers have an edge in selling powder-based products than powder manufacturers.
The patent for selective laser sintering filed by Carl R. Deckard expired In January 2014. Selective laser sintering is the process of printing high resolution 3D metal parts using metal powders as a feedstock. It process is one of the most cost-effective processes present in the market, which has opened up new doors for the SMEs to adopt 3D metal printing as their mainstream production process. This will increase the demand for 3D printing metals.
3D Systems Corporation (U.S.), is a leading player in the 3D printing metals market. The company offers wide range of metal powders as well as 3D metal printers. It also provides software solutions for 3D printing. The company serves a wide range of end use industries such as aerospace & defense and medical & dental. 3D Systems Corporation (U.S.) adopted new product launches and expansions as the key strategies to expand its presence in the market. The company has effectively managed development of new products and acquisition of different facilities to expand its product portfolio, globally. The company has launched ProJet MJP 3600 and enhanced ProJet MJP 5500X in January 2016. The new products will strengthen the company’s 3D printing systems portfolio.
LPW Technology Ltd. (U.K.) supplies a wide range of 3D printing metals. The products range from titanium, aluminum, nickel, and many others. Apart from aerospace & defense, the company also manufactures metal powders for medical & dental, automotive, and other industries. The company adopted several growth strategies in past few years. Collaborations, partnerships, and expansions have been its key strategies. LPW Technology set up a new plasma spheroidisation equipment in February 2016 to enhance the quality of 3D printing materials. The wide range of brand & products and active operations make LPW a leading player in this market.
Some of the major participants operating in the 3D printing metals market include EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems (Germany), Optomec Inc. (U.S.), Carpenter Technology Corporation (U.S.), GKN PLC (U.K.), Renishaw Plc (U.K.), Arcam AB (Sweden), Sandvik AB (Sweden), Voxeljet AG (Germany), and Hoganas AB (Sweden).
Most of the 3D printing metal printer and powder manufacturers are located in North America and European region with their sales presence in Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. is currently estimated to be the largest 3D printing metals market in the world, but Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market in near future. Several major OEMs are expanding their metal 3D printing capacity to reduce turnaround times and increase efficiency and accuracy in product development.
Presently, metal 3D printing industry in Asia-Pacific region is at a very nascent stage and is growing at a faster pace than that of other regions. Countries such as Japan, China, and South Korea are likely to lead the growth phase in this region. Established metal printer and powder manufacturers in Europe are further expanding their presence in Asia-Pacific region through joint ventures and strategic partnerships to tap the emerging opportunities in this region. Technological developments have introduced cheaper metal printers, which are offered under USD 4,000. This will drive the sales of metal printer and metal materials.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ranks China as the second-largest country in terms of patent applications filed for 3D printing. Investments in startups, increasing funding from government, and new product developments have fueled the growth of metal 3D printing in Asia-Pacific region. Powder metallurgy associations and technology startups are engaging in different workshops, conferences, and seminars for knowledge sharing and new product developments. There has been a rising demand for tooling and fabrication applications from automotive sector. The demand for medical & dental implants and patient specific implants is also on the rise. New product and technological developments and rising investments from government and private players will drive the growth of 3D printing metals market.
Aerospace & defense industry have a strong adoption rate for 3D printing. Metal 3D printing is used to print fuel nozzles and other critical engine components which require high precision and accuracy. Aircraft engine manufacturers are planning to print LEAP engines used in aircrafts using metal 3D printing. Manufacturers are investing in new products and materials which can be used to build fuel efficient aircrafts. Metal 3D printing has substantial potential in the aerospace & defense industry. This segment is projected to grow at the highest rate as compared to automotive and medical & dental segment.
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