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Additive Manufacturing: The Ongoing Uncertainties and Market Shares

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SmarTech Analysis has recently published its Q1 2020 additive manufacturing market guidance for the metal additive manufacturing industry, highlighting the first quarter in an economic universe gripped by effects of coronavirus. The question on everyone’s minds these days is, “just what will the bottom line impact be with regards to COVID 19?”

Most in the AM industry still don’t know. No AM company is able to provide firm expectations for 2020, and certainly not into 2021. And it is this lack of expectations, or at least the continual presence of uncertainty, which may end up being the key market driver for additive manufacturing in the near future.

During the first quarter of the year, the metal additive hardware market was hit hard, down about 33 percent year over year compared to 2019. It’s worth noting however that Q1 2019 was the best first quarter in terms of metal AM hardware revenue in history.

To add a little more context for Q1. Revenues were down about 28 percent versus the average quarterly market revenue from the last twelve consecutive quarters. While that paints a grim picture, during the first three months of the year, revenues from material sales of metal powders and sales of metal AM services were much less dire. Metal powder sales increased slightly year over year, though they declined compared to the previous consecutive quarter for the first time in recent history. Services revenues for metals declined just 3 percent.  In this article we examine the state of play of the AM industry as it starts its planning for 2021, along with the market shares of its leading players. PRO logo

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