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3D Printing to Reach $18.8B in Revenues in 2023

AMR Military

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According to the latest “AM Parts Produced 2023: Global Market Data & Forecast” report from Additive Manufacturing Research (“AMR”, formerly SmarTech Analysis), the 3D printing sector is poised to expand from $18.8 billion in 2023 to an impressive $119 billion by 2032.

The report underscores the significant role additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are expected to play in various industries over the next decade. It goes beyond numbers, offering a detailed look at production volumes and market values of additively manufactured components. These span a wide range of applications, from aerospace components like aircraft and helicopter engine parts to critical elements in the energy sector, including nuclear reactor components.

The extensive data covers prototypes, tools, tooling, and end-use production parts across eight major industries, delving into dozens of part categorizations. The database is built on real market activity up to the second quarter of 2023 and includes proprietary projections for the upcoming decade.

In 2023, the 3D printing industry observed a notable trend in metal AM. While there was a slowdown in the global growth of metal additive prototyping compared to the previous year, this was paralleled by a similar deceleration in the production of additive tools. In contrast, the sector witnessed a significant acceleration in the printing of end-use metal parts. This divergence indicates a shift in focus within the metal AM sector, emphasizing the growing importance of practical, final-use components over prototyping and tool production.

On the polymer front, the year brought modest but noteworthy developments. The market for 3D printed polymer prototypes grew by 5 percent, a small increase that belies the significant surge in the overall volume of polymer parts printing. This growth was predominantly driven by end-use parts, a trend largely credited to the increasing adoption of material extrusion and powder bed fusion technologies. These technologies have unlocked new potentials in polymer printing, enabling more widespread and versatile use of 3D printing in various industries.

The dental sector, traditionally a significant contributor to AM print volumes, presented a mixed picture in 2023. Influenced by broader global economic factors such as inflation and shifts in consumer spending, the sector experienced dampened printing activities. One of the notable indicators of this trend was the growth in aligner thermoforming prints, which saw a global increase of just 4 percent. This subdued growth in a key area of dental printing reflects the broader challenges faced by the industry in the context of a changing economic landscape.

A standout observation from the data is the soaring valuation of metal powder bed fusion (PBF) technology, which is anticipated to lead the pack with its market value projected to surpass $50 billion by 2032. This striking ascent underscores the increasing reliance on and confidence in metal PBF within the manufacturing sector. While other 3D printing technologies—such as metal direct energy deposition (DED), metal binder jet, and a spectrum of polymer processes—are also on an upward trend, their growth appears more measured in comparison.

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