While not top secret or highly classified, there are some highly surprising figures when it comes to projections for revenues from space and defense aerospace spending for 2022. Looking at today, analysts now see the figures at $140 million for next year. By 2022, however, those figures should rise to a staggering $600 million.
This is a very different market, and one unto itself. As a follow-up to studies SmarTech Markets Publishing performed last year, their latest report, “Additive Manufacturing in Space and Defense Aerospace Markets,” shows that the people at the top see a lot of virtue–and potential–in the power of 3D printing. And they have big plans to spend big money on 3D printing of big items that are a little out of the everyday fabricating realm, such as:
- Space vehicles
- Military aircraft
- Missile systems
While 3D printing has certainly captured the attention of the world with innovations that break barriers most of us never considered battering down, the technology according to most experts is still in its fledgling stages for numerous industries, and that goes for space and defense aerospace as well.
SmarTech Markets Publishing, the leading provider of industry analysis for the 3D printing/additive manufacturing sector, is taking a look at funds that will be spent for every aspect of 3D printing, from equipment to materials. One important note that analysts point out for these industries is not only how they will manufacture, but that they will have to maintain security measures as well, meaning they will own their industrial 3D printers, will employ those who have the specific skill sets to handle 3D printing enterprises, and projects will be performed in-house for the most part.
Those with knowledge of how to 3D print for the applications required by space and defense aerospace will be in demand. The trend for using 3D printing service bureaus outside of agencies for low-volume parts will probably begin to decline.
Who will be doing all this hiring, spending, and 3D printing ? SmarTech predicts that the big players will be familiar names such as 3D Systems, Addaero, Aerojet, Aero Kinetics, Airbus, Arcam, BAE, Boeing, Concept Laser, CRP Technology, DST Control, EOS, ExOne, Farsoon, GE Aviation, Honeywell Aerospace, InssTek, Leptron, Lithoz, Lockheed Martin, Materialise, MTI, MTU, Norinco, Northrup Grumman, Oxford Performance Materials, Prodways, Raytheon, Rocket Lab, RUAG, Sigma Labs, Sintavia, SpaceX, Stratasys, Victrex, voxeljet, and Windform.
These companies are expected to invest not only in the more traditional 3D printing with plastics, but metal 3D printing should begin to take over, and is expected to account for half of the revenue coming from 3D printing hardware by 2022 and will be especially attractive for use in maintaining older military planes. While SmarTech analysts expect polymer to have a ‘growing presence’ as a material in some areas of space and defense 3D printing, metal 3D printing is the obvious technology to place bets on due to its ability to produce components that are extremely strong and durable.
The report shows that this unique market in itself presents an enormous future of revenue for the 3D printing industry–which in turn presents huge benefits for the space and defense aerospace sectors. SmarTech has announced that for next month they will be releasing a report similar to this in regards to future projections for 3D printing in commercial and general aircraft.
Let’s hear your thoughts on 3D Printing within the Space and Defense Sectors. Discuss in the Space and Defense 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.