Metal 3D printing market size to worth around USD $16b by 2031

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Image credit: Alex_Traksel/stock.adobe.com

A recent report from SmarTech Analysis revealed that the metal additive manufacturing (AM) services revenue is forecasted to reach USD 16.1 billion (AUD 24 billion) by 2031.

Titled, “The Market for Metal Additive Manufacturing Services: 2023-2031,” the report has pegged revenues for metal AM services at USD 3.8 billion (AUD 5.7 billion) for the year 2023.

In light of current economic and geopolitical circumstances, SmarTech said it has reduced its expectations for metal additive services by nearly 20 per cent since its study over three years ago. 

The research group also revealed these expectations include revenue estimates for core rapid manufacturing and prototyping services, as well as novel value-added services including design services, training, and non-AM manufacturing. 

The report provided strategic profiles of more than 30 service bureaus worldwide, including 3DEO, BLT, Burloak, Carpenter Additive, Digital Metal/Markforged, ExOne/Desktop Metal, FIT, GE Additive, GKN Forecast 3D, and HP.

Materialise, MTI, Oerlikon, Protolabs, Quickparts, Sandvik, Sculpteo, Shapeways, Shining3D, Seurat, Siemens, Sintavia, Stratasys, Thyssenkrupp, voestalpine, and Xometry are also included. 

This study covered metal printing services markets industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical/healthcare, dental, jewellery, consumer products, and oil and gas.

The report stated future medical advancements could involve the use of metal implants made of Ti64, pure titanium, or cobalt chrome alloys. 

These offer the benefits of being lightweight, biologically inert, and having the capacity to support loads. Hospitals and doctors lack the expertise to perform in-house medical 3D printing.

The oil and gas industry is another potential market for metal service bureaus, and SmarTech said numerous non-specialist metals-oriented service bureaus occasionally work for the oil and gas industry, but rarely acknowledge it. 

SmarTech believes that as the need for 3D printed components grows, specialised oil and gas 3D printing service bureaux will become more frequent.

Nonetheless, the report found that one service sector that appears to be receiving more focus from additive metal service bureaus is CNC and other subtractive manufacturing solutions.

This implies that in the future, AM services will be merely a component of so-called AM service bureau’s strategy.