If some famous companies like Boeing or BMW already took a step into AM, printing thousands of parts aiming at having more flexibility in customization, it is still very marginal compared to GE.
Watching its revenues plummeting over the last year, Oil & Gas industrials are looking for a rapid operational efficiency. That is why 3D printing is now entering into the game.
Main players from the Power and Gas industry like General Electric and Siemens have recently suffered from a lack of demand. They are now investing into additive manufacturing to survive.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) started to introduce 3D printing in 2015 and is constantly developing the process with a target of 15,000 spare parts produced by the end of 2018.
“Repairing or purchaising a new machine?” That question is definitely outdated with Additive Manufacturing. And 3D printing is getting everyday faster! Good perspective isn’t it ?
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has undertaken a study with Aalto University on the benefits of digitalisation and 3D printing spare parts.
3D Printing Metal 2018-2028
[Photo courtesy Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering.]
More companies are beginning to follow the lead of early adopters of additive manufacturing technology such as GE Aviation. The focus of 3D printing technology for metals has been gravitating towards industrial usage for the past few years. The increasingly widespread use of the technology to produce low-volume or individually customised metal parts has continually fuelled its growth for the past few years. In fact, while plastic additive technology still represents the largest share of the market, it is not rising at the same pace as metal.
Highlights from IDTechEx report:
- Metal 3D printer sales grw by 48% last year while material sales grew at a rate of 32%.
- In the long term, materials are expected to grow at a much faster pace than for printers.
- This rate of growth is projected to continue for the next 4 years.
- Direct metal laser sintering is still the main printer technology by total installed base with an 84% market share in 2016.
- The total installed base for metal printers will continue to see a robust CAGR of 23% between 2018 to 2028.
The imperative insight from this report is that existing industries that employ 3D printing metal will continue to broaden their usage and applications of the technology. On the other hand, the rest of the industry is moving quickly to incorporate the technology into their value-chain so as to remain competitive. Some examples are German company Siemens using metal 3D printers for their gas turbine blades as well as NASA’s heavy investment for production of next-generation rocket engines.
As Spare Parts 3D, we also notice by exchanging with multiple industrial companies that request for metal 3D printed replacement parts to repair industrial machineries are raising very fast as stated by PWC.
The full 161 page report, the first market research report dedicated to 3D printing metal, can be purchased here.