OYSTER BAY, NY—According to a new report published by ABI Research,the number of production-ready additive manufacturing (AM) platforms that ship each year will increase to nearly $2 trillion in sum by 2030, as the technology's use in structural and mission-critical commercial applications comes to fruition.
“Additive manufacturing is moving from the prototype to the production market in a big way,” explains Ryan Martin, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “A new set of technologies is breaking out to create netshape parts in a variety of build platform sizes that significantly broaden the overall scope of applications where AM can compete, and ultimately win. The integration of digital and physical production systems will accompany the hybrid manufacturing models that follow for higher degrees of automation and just-in-time, on-demand delivery.”
The automotive industry represents the largest opportunity globally with $148 billion in additive manufacturing product value forecasted for 2030, but it is closely followed by the machinery markets, and these figures differ from country to country. The United States currently leads the world in terms of AM product value but will be passed by China in 2029 under present conditions.
3D printing has been around for more than 30 years in specialized aerospace and medical applications. Companies like 3D Systems, EOS and Stratasys have primarily led the charge due to their market tenure and resulting credibility with a wide range of applications. Mid-level players include ExOne, GE Additive and HP, which plans to start shipping its Metal Jet production system in 2020. Emerging players are Carbon, Desktop Metal, Digital Alloys, and Markforged, and they also need to be taken seriously.
The report notes that breakout growth across aerospace and defense (including commercial aviation), automotive, consumer goods, and machinery (including tooling) makes it anyone’s game.