Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Metal AM Service Bureau Revenues to Reach $6.95B by 2025, Says SmarTech Analysis

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AM industry analyst firm SmarTech Analysis has just released a new report, and builds on its recent metal powders report by analyzing and forecasting the revenues of metal additive manufacturing service bureaus. In “The Market for Metal Additive Manufacturing Services: 2021-2029,” SmarTech is projecting these numbers will get up to $6.95 billion by the year 2025, and that by 2029, revenues will have reached $15.5 billion.

“This is SmarTech’s latest assessment and market forecast of metal additive manufacturing services an area we have been covering for three years. Our forecasts have been adjusted to reflect the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been both a positive and a negative for the metal service bureaus,” SmarTech writes. “In other changes, SmarTech’s latest report on this topic upgrades our analysis to include more detail on value-added services and up-to-date profiles of leading service providers, including some that have risen to prominence in the past year. This report also assesses the impact of the changes in end user industries and of improving economies in 2021.”

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the firm’s projections in this report are not as high as the equivalent numbers published in 2019. The pandemic has definitely been a hindrance for metal AM service bureaus, but it’s not been all bad news: the impact of reshoring from China should increase use of these services, and many corporations have vowed to make contingency planning for future supply chain crises a top business priority.

Ventilator produced for COVID-19 pandemic (Image courtesy of General Motors)

In the new SmarTech report, a detailed analysis of the current metal AM service bureaus is laid out, followed by a chapter on where the demand for these services is generating, and what kinds of services are a hot commodity. Healthcare (both dental and medical) is responsible for over 40% of this metal AM services demand, as the benefits of the technology are clear, but not all the necessary personnel necessarily possess the know-how for in-house metal 3D printing.

“Hence these end users turn to bureaus to build the 3D printed items that they need. In some cases, medical bureaus are able to focus on very high value-added parts in this space,” the report states.

For example, FIT AG built one of Germany’s premier 3D printing factories for volume manufacturing, which isn’t the usual model for a service bureau, but it’s made a name for itself using EBM technology meant for bone replacement to print medical implants out of biocompatible titanium alloys. Additionally, metal 3D printing is used so frequently in the dental sector it actually skewed the production data in the graphs Scott Dunham presented at AMS 2020, and there’s no indication of this growth slowing.

The projections in this SmarTech report also include revenues from more old-school manufacturing and prototyping services, in addition to some of the newer kinds, like training, design, and non-AM manufacturing services.

“Service bureaus with considerable in-house expertise can also sell that expertise in the form of training services and consulting, pushing their daily involvement with practical additive manufacturing as an advantage,” SmarTech states in the report. “Successful training and consulting services that may emerge will be oriented towards improving part quality and part consistency, certification and environmental education.  We also expect an increase in consultancy services offered by the bureaus designed to help end-users better implement AM.”

The report also includes ten-year forecasts of the demand for metal AM services, and the markets that are behind the demand, such as aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, dental, jewelry, medical, and oil & gas. If you’re interested in the revenue forecasts by geography, type of material and technology, and 3D printers sold to AM service bureaus, this report also includes some breakout sections that focus on these.

The final chapter of SmarTech’s report offers strategic profiles of many top service bureaus that get a lot of their business from the metal AM sector, including 3D Systems, 3D Hubs, i3DMFG, Oerlikon, ExOne, BeamIT, GE Additive, Henkel, Materialise, MTI, Jabil, Protolabs, Sintavia, Stratasys, GKN, Xometry, Renishaw, voestalpine, Siemens, Shining3D, Thyssenkrupp, and many others.

The subject of metal AM service bureaus, along with a wide variety of other topics in the additive manufacturing industry, will be addressed in detail at the Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2021 summit, hosted in a virtual format by SmarTech Analysis and 3DPrint.com from February 9-12.

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