Post-Processing for 3D Printing to Reach $1.8B by 2031


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Industry research firm SmarTech Analysis has published its latest report on post-processing for the additive manufacturing industry, “Post-Processing for Additive Manufacturing: Market Analysis and Forecast,” which shows the critical role of post-processing will spur a billion-dollar market during the next decade.

Authored by 3D printing expert and founder of Chicago-based consulting firm 3Degrees, Mike Vasquez, the report provides the necessary raw data and analysis for management, investors, users, product planners, and marketers to advance their understanding of this critical path in the AM workflow, which gives products a finishing touch to look better and improve strength.

Overall today, the polymer post-processing industry brings in more than $145 million per year, with automotive as its largest market, while the metals post-processing market size is estimated at $175 million in 2022, spearheaded by 3D printing applications in aerospace. Both of these segments are growing due to increasing demand for post-processing in nearly all 3D printing operations and the maturation of post-processing technologies for various additive manufacturing printing modalities.

Image courtesy of SmarTech Analysis.

Accordingly, SmarTech foresees that, during the decade-long forecasting period covered by the report, post-processing for additive manufacturing will reach $1.8 billion in 2031. Furthermore, the report estimates that at least 26% of the total estimate corresponds to the polymer post-processing market, while the rest is attributed to the larger metals post-processing market.

Post-processing encompasses a broad set of operations after any part comes out of the printer; this can include cleaning, coloring, surface finishing, curing, heat treating, and other manufacturing operations. That means that once a part enters the post-processing phase, the automation quality inherent to the 3D printing process usually tends to become a manual operation with a significant impact on quality, costs, and time. However, SmarTech considers that post-processing is no longer an impediment to adopting or expanding 3D printing use.

Instead, the effects of shifting workforce dynamics have resulted in a trend within the industry towards automation to minimize the labor required but also to increase overall throughput for high production volume applications. This is also true today in post-processing. Part of the reason post-processing is gaining ground is due to automated finishings, which have myriad advantages, including the reduction of errors overall. As more verticals adopt 3D printing, post-processing will boom even more so.

Solukon depowdering systems for metal components. Image courtesy of Solukon.

This new report from SmarTech also provides the reader with a detailed understanding of the changing market dynamics that are causing additional emphasis on the advances of post-processing technologies, a review of the top suppliers of post-processing equipment and services, and a series of market forecasts examining year over year trends and industry breakdowns as well as how end users decide to adopt post-processing technologies and integrate finishing operations into their production workflow, whether it is through a strategic partnership with technology suppliers or by bringing automation technology directly in-house.

Highlighted companies in this report include those providing services and products to directly target the post-processing operations involved in additive manufacturing, namely AM-Flow, AMT, DyeMansion, PostProcess Technologies, Solukon, Bel Air Finishing, Gasbarre, Hiperbaric, MicroTek Finishing, and many others.

Described in the report as a unique sector, post-processing presents a wide-ranging future of revenue for the 3D printing industry. In addition, post-processing solutions offer an evolving market that could fully incorporate into supply chains as 3D printing becomes the manufacturing method of choice for mass-production products.

To learn more about the post-processing analysis and forecast report and database, view its table of contents, or purchase the resource, visit the SmarTech website. Pricing for the report starts at $1,850.

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