by Kevin Ayers & Kara Novotny
May 15, 2023
The new niche in manufacturing is supplementing production using additive manufacturing (AM). Customers can diversify their parts sourcing and customize specific components. Solutions for traditional manufacturing challenges can be achieved through the qualification of AM parts alongside conventional manufacturing methods. The next-generation metal machines offer the ability to use a wide range of alloys, expanding material options for production needs. Companies can benefit from the expertise of 3D Metal Konsulting LLC in navigating the evolving landscape of metal AM.
Key point for investors:
· The metal additive manufacturing market is estimated to be around $28 billion (potentially higher due to underreported numbers), indicating significant growth potential.
· Traditional manufacturing represents a much larger market, estimated at $27 trillion, providing a compelling opportunity for additive manufacturing to penetrate mainstream manufacturing.
· The increasing demand for additive manufacturing solutions driven by supply chain disruptions, trade wars, and the need for alternative production methods presents a favorable market environment for investment in metal AM.
Key points for slow widespread adoption of Metal AM:
· Aerospace applications have primarily driven the metal AM industry due to the ability to pay higher prices per part. However, this focus on aerospace has limited adoption in other manufacturing sectors.
· Qualifying AM parts, especially for legacy components, involves time-consuming processes and challenges related to matching material properties and maintaining dimensional control.
· The reactive and non-reactive nature of certain alloys used in metal AM can present difficulties in achieving desired microstructures and avoiding issues like micro cracks.
· Lack of standardization across different metal additive technologies and the constant evolution of new technologies create uncertainty and complexity for widespread adoption.
· The cost per part, including materials, post-processing, and quality control, remains a concern and needs to be addressed to enhance the economic viability of metal AM for broader applications.