AMS Spring 2023

3D Printing Industry Achieves $6B in H1 of 2022

6K SmarTech

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SmarTech Analysis, the leading research firm for the 3D printing industry, has just released its market data for Q2 2022. According to its research, the additive manufacturing (AM) sector achieved 27 percent growth during the same period last year. In total, SmarTech suggests that the 3D printing market achieved $6 billion in the first half of the year, generating revenues of just over $3 billion across Q1 and Q2 each.

However, the industry’s six consecutive quarters of sequential growth ended as a result of inflation and global supply chain disruptions, leading some companies to reduce annual guidance. Nevertheless, others reaffirmed their expectations, pointing to the ability of 3D printing to support manufacturing amid supply chain issues. Scott Dunham, Executive Vice President of Research for SmarTech Analysis, spoke to this point:

“Although the quarter still was a huge success for the additive industry, the overall economic condition has caught up to the industry after an excellent run of growth throughout the pandemic and into the post-pandemic age of supply chain turmoil. AM firms as a group are still amongst the best positioned during this time even if growth did finally slow down sequentially. We still expect 2022 to be a record-breaking year for the industry as we go into the second half of the year. The outlook beyond 2022 is also quite positive as aerospace returns stronger and new opportunities in consumer goods and energy pick up steam.”

A traditional replacement casting carried a 10 month lead time for tooling —this replacement was produced with sand 3D printing and delivered in weeks. Image courtesy of Desktop Metal.

According to SmarTech, the metal 3D printing market now represents 40 percent of the total AM market, continuing to grow more quickly than the polymer segment. This includes the market for AM machines, materials, and print services. The market research company noted that the metal sector was strong in Q2 2022, but that key segments like hardware actually dropped for the first time in several quarters, “due to challenges created by supply chain, and lengthening sales cycles due to recession fears.”

Image courtesy of SmarTech Analysis.

At the same time, the demand for metal powder is increasing with an increase in production on the part of more users, particularly in aerospace. This is in part driven by continued issues with supply chains, driving global manufacturers to seriously consider the use of AM. Metal powder bed fusion and other semi-mature 3D printing technologies are then turned to as a potential solution. As a result, the growth rate of powder sales increased in Q2, as did prices of those materials. SmarTech suggests that AM materials now create over $500 million per quarter around the world. Meanwhile, new metal AM technologies are being developed to target specific markets and applications. Companies covered in the report include 3D Systems, HP, EOS, Farsoon, Prodways, Velo3D, SLM Solutions, Optomec, Trumpf, Markforged, Desktop Metal, GE Additive and ExOne.

This information represents the latest in SmarTech’s “Core Metals” and “Core Polymers” market data, which includes historical quarterly data along with 10-year forecasts. Quarterly reports on the metal and polymer AM markets can be acquired via one-time or subscription purchase on the SmarTech website, with customization available as needed.

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