Metal AM in 2023 Survey: A Free Resource to Drive Industry Expansion

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In an era where digital manufacturing technologies are rapidly evolving, the “Metal AM in 2023 Survey: How do we expand production in Metal Additive Manufacturing Survey” stands out as a key resource for professionals and enthusiasts in the field of metal additive manufacturing (AM). Now available for free download, the survey reveals insights into the current state and future trajectory of metal AM from the perspective of industry insiders, making it a must-have for anyone looking to stay up-to-date on trends in this dynamic sector.

A major goal of the survey is to understand where metal AM stands today and what’s stopping it from becoming more widely used. It looks at what drives people to buy certain metal materials, how important the quality of these materials is, and how much sustainability matters. As metal AM becomes more common, the survey highlights how the industry works to ensure parts meet standards, make parts manufacturing more efficient, provide a steady flow of materials, and care for environmental concerns.

Developed by Additive Manufacturing Research (AMR) in collaboration with 6K Additive, the survey seeks to understand the opportunities and challenges within the metal AM domain, estimate its current usage, and predict future trends. By contributing to this survey, participants added to a comprehensive body of knowledge, gaining insights into the evolving landscape of metal AM.

Among the key areas of exploration in the survey are the industry verticals involved with metal 3D printing and their contributions to the global production of metal parts via AM, estimated by AMR to be around 30 million parts annually. The survey also focuses on understanding which metals have been used for AM in the past year, assessing their suitability for various applications, and gauging interest in emerging materials like refractory metals used in hypersonics, medical devices, and aerospace.

AMR and 6K Additive’s “Metal AM in 2023 Survey.” Image courtesy of AMR.

Drawing from a diverse global pool of respondents across various industries, roles, and regions, the survey highlights North America’s significant presence in the metal AM sector. Another striking revelation from the survey is the widespread acceptance and implementation of metal 3D printing across industries. Nearly 80% of respondents already use this technology, and the main materials include titanium, steel, aluminum, and nickel alloy, all of which have established applications in AM.

The survey also shows the timeframes for part qualification in metal AM. The responses indicate diverse experiences, with organizations reporting times ranging from under a month to over six months for qualifying printed parts.

Insights from the survey also show data on managing unused or spent powder, failed builds, and scrap. This includes analyzing how AM scrap is viewed compared to conventional manufacturing scrap. The time taken to qualify new materials for applications and the criteria prioritized when purchasing materials are also explored, offering a glimpse into the decision-making processes of organizations in this field.

The role of organizations like AMR in providing accurate data and market analysis is paramount for effective decision-making in the AM industry. AMR has emerged as a leader in market research dedicated to 3D printing. Its efforts to monitor and analyze key developments and trends in the space have been instrumental in building one of the field’s most comprehensive and regularly updated databases. This data is invaluable for companies looking to navigate the complexities of the AM industry.

The award-winning UniMelt system from 6K

The award-winning UniMelt system from 6K. Image courtesy of 6K.

6K Additive has also carved a niche, particularly in producing high-quality metal powders. The company’s focus on sustainability through recycling, using its proprietary UniMelt platform, aligns with the industry’s move towards a more circular economy. This approach not only guarantees premium quality but also boosts environmental responsibility.

As the metal 3D printing sector continues to grow, the collaboration between companies like AMR and 6K Additive and the insights from surveys like this one emphasize the importance of data-driven decisions in the industry. Collecting diverse viewpoints and sharing knowledge, these efforts paved the way for a future in metal AM marked by innovation, sustainability, and steady progress.

The full survey is available for download here, offering a valuable opportunity for professionals to deepen their understanding of the field and guide its direction. Join the conversation and be a part of shaping the future of metal AM.

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