Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Metal 3D Printing Grows 11% in Q1 2021, Says SmarTech Report

ST Medical Devices

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According to SmarTech Analysis, the metal 3D printing industry grew by 11 percent in terms of global revenues in the first quarter of 2021. This double-digit expansion represents a continued recovery for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This data comes from AM market research firm’s quarterly report, which was released to SmarTech’s advisory services clients last week. The firm determined that print services only grew a small amount since this time last year, but revenues from metal AM hardware systems was up 35 percent.

SmarTech described this as continuing a recovery trend for the metal 3D printing segment that began in the second half of 2020. The market research firm expects that the metal AM market will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021. What’s next for the sector? SmarTech is keeping a watchful eye on the market to determine if it will continue to grow beyond historic levels, which had been weaker than expected in 2019 due the larger manufacturing sector as a whole and the trouble seen in implementing metal 3D printing technologies.

The quarterly report, available for one-time purchase to non-subscribers or through ongoing subscription advisory services, also notes the trend of merger and acquisition activity, industry consolidation, and plans for public trading by some firms. That trend may have already peaked in Q1 2021 and will be fully realized in the second half of the year, having a huge impact on the metal 3D printing industry as a whole.

Image courtesy of SmarTech Analysis.

SmarTech additionally underscored the positive sentiments reported by major stakeholders in 3D printing and metal manufacturing, with some businesses reporting double digit growth for the year, compared to 15 percent growth in 2020. Other activity discussed by the report included reports from large businesses like Sandvik and Voestalpine that the automotive and manufacturing markets were responding strongly to their offerings, which include 3D printing, which is another indicator that the industry is recovering.

The knock-on effects of the pandemic have not ended altogether. Issues related to supply, shipping and freight still exist. All of this has generated positive attention for 3D printing going forward but constrain the industry in the immediate present.

For the full report and the insights therein, you can head to the SmarTech website. SmarTech’s quarterly advisory services provide ongoing market metrics based on long-term data and analysis of the industry dating back to 2017. The resulting database allows subscribers to track trends and segment performance.

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