The global metal 3D printing market size was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 20.96 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 22.80% during the forecast period (2022-2030). A revolutionary technology called metal 3D printing can create parts that cannot be manufactured directly from CAD data. This method has advantages over conventional machining because it can create robust, complex geometries, internal lattice structures, conformal cooling channels, and other features. The market for metal 3D printing has benefited significantly from the rising demand for rapid prototyping and better manufacturing methods. The industry is expected to experience unheard-of growth throughout the forecast period due to the increasing use of additive manufacturing across numerous industry verticals. The worldwide industrial printer market is moving closer to consolidation to keep ahead of the competition.
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Growing Applications in Various Sectors
The fundamental concept behind 3D printing is that a computer model can be transformed into a solid, three-dimensional physical thing by layering on the material. A digital 3D design file serves as the basis for every 3D printing process, the equivalent of a blueprint for building a real thing. Stereolithography was the first 3D printing technology to be created, and as it grew and flourished, it became one of the most significant scientific and technological advances. Rapid prototyping, made possible by the spread of additive manufacturing, is altering the game and substantially lowering time-to-market.
3D printing is widely employed across industry verticals (metal, plastic, or synthetic) to create models, prototypes, and parts out of materials. A part may be printed in a couple of hours using a 3D printing program like CAD. With the implementation of the technology, producers greatly benefited and could eliminate many of their secondary tooling processes, including injection molding, resin tooling, soft-tooling, and mold manufacturing, enabling the manufacturers eventually decrease their costs and accelerates time to market.
Capital Intensive Technologies and High Material Prices
Even though additive manufacturing has emerged as one of the most motivating and stunning creative technologies, providing numerous conveniences to the industrial manufacturing industry, a limited number of markets still impede the technology's steady development. A few primary market-restraining considerations include material restrictions, equipment limitations, and issues with intellectual property. The increased costs of materials and the scarcity of materials combined with the higher costs of 3D printers are among the main market-restraining factors. Another significant market constraining element is a lack of skilled labor. The requirement for assistance from qualified and specialized suppliers and service providers has increased service spending.
The difficulty of comprehending what exactly 3D printing technology still exists among many industrialists and manufacturers, even though three-dimensional printing has a sizable market and is expected to increase usage. In order to provide technology a position in the market, the first challenge is to generate and define its concept. This could be accomplished by highlighting the advantages and potential of the technology.
The use of 3D printing technology in other industries began a few years ago, and the technology is now about to enter the commercial market. The consumer electronics business is on the lookout for more enormous opportunities that might help it with improved production capabilities, precision, and reliability further to boost product innovation and technological advancements in that sector. Long-term sensor applications and customized circuitry have been of higher interest to researchers in electronics. The technology is anticipated to be noted as having an excellent chance to open up three-dimensional printing options and emerge as a crucial method of producing electrical devices that are naturally manufactured in lower-volume sizes, such as optoelectronics.
Engineers are working hard to experiment with electronic applications and create cutting-edge items like stretchable electronics that may find the application fruitful. According to the programming and design layout entered into the 3D printer software, the printers produce 3D printed electronic objects as a single continuous part using conductive inks in the appropriate combination with base materials and compatible software. This process is known as conformal electronics. These are entirely functional electronic components that do not require any additional assembly.
The global metal 3D printing market is segmented by component, technology, application, software, and vertical.
Based on components, the global market of metal 3D printing is bifurcated into hardware, software, and services.
The hardware segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.20% during the forecast period. In 2021, the hardware sector dominated the market and accounted for a greater than 60.0% share of worldwide revenue. The market for metal 3D printing hardware components can be divided into submarkets: those catering to technology and those serving applications.
Design software, inspection software, printer software, and scanning software are sub-categories that fall under the umbrella of the software segment. The most popular 3D modeling software includes CAD design, sculpting, and freeform modeling tools. These tools can build models suitable for 3D printing based on the inputs provided. CAD technologies enable the construction of models using geometrical shapes, while freeform tools make it possible to create non-geometric objects. Sculpting tools will allow the user to construct models by pressing, pinching, pulling, or grabbing the digital clay to get their desired effect.
Based on technology, the global market of metal 3D printing is bifurcated into Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Inkjet printing, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM), Electron-beam Freeform Fabrication (EBF3), and Selective Laser Melting (SLM).
The electron beam melting (EBM)segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.95% during the forecast period. The 3D printing technology known as electron beam melting is utilized for metal items. It entails heating a metal wire or metal powder with an electron beam before joining it. A Swedish business called Arcam AB designs and develops additive manufacturing technology. The company's main product line is electron beam melting (EBM) equipment for additive manufacturing procedures. It offers solutions for additive manufacturing that help create metal components utilizing EBM technology. The aerospace and medical industries are the primary target markets for the company's services.
Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is a process that uses a precision, high-wattage laser to micro-weld powdered alloys and metals into fully functional metal components from CAD data. The method aids in overcoming the laborious tooling and the production of intricate geometries that are impossible using other metal manufacturing procedures. As an illustration, HAL uses the direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) method to create components for the Hindustan Turbofan Engine-25 (HTFE-25). The demand for 3D-printed metals in India is anticipated to increase over the next several years due to advances in the country's metal AM sector.
Based on software, the global market of metal 3D printing is bifurcated into design, inspection, printer, and scanning software.
The design software segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.60% during the forecast period. CAD, Sculpting, and Freeform modeling tools are the most popular 3D modeling software. These tools can produce models suitable for 3D printing based on the inputs given. In contrast to freeform tools, which allow the development of freeform shapes, CAD tools construct models using mathematical shapes. By using digital clay, sculpting tools enable pushing, pinching, tugging, or grabbing to construct models. In addition to 3D design software and technology, Autodesk also focuses on PLM, the cloud, mobile, and sustainable design tools.
Based on application, the global market of metal 3D printing is bifurcated into prototyping, tooling, and functional parts.
The prototyping segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.55% during the forecast period. Using three-dimensional CAD data is a method for quickly creating a scale replica of an entire assembly or item. Once the prototype is complete, it can be utilized to quickly produce large numbers of the same prototype. Metal additive manufacturing is increasingly used in Mexico's aerospace and automotive sectors to manufacture prototypes and finished products. The automotive and aerospace industries are creating more opportunities and adopting 3D printing faster since prototyping and designing are crucial to research and development to attain perfection in production.
Based on vertical, the global market of metal 3D printing is bifurcated into automotive, aerospace and defense, healthcare, consumer electronics, powder and energy, and others.
The automotive sector is the highest contributor to the market and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 22.45% during the forecast period. Rapid prototyping and the creation of high-performance car parts are possible with 3D printing in the automobile industry. Metal 3D printing offers many new opportunities for automotive manufacturers to produce cars faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before by being able to meet their needs at each stage of that lifecycle.
The global metal 3D printing market is divided into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant global metal 3D printing market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.00% during the forecast period. The metal 3D printing market is expanding most quickly in the North American region, and there are more prospects for growth there for businesses with long-term investment plans. The main drivers of the North American regional market are the region's vast existing customer base and high adoption rate for technology across all industrial verticals. The regional countries' government initiatives, which offer significant subsidies and actively encourage foreign players to invest more in their regions to generate a healthy economy, business opportunities, and employment, are likely to cause the industry players to grow over the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 27.10% over the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region has established itself as one of the most promising manufacturing hubs in the world, offering lucrative opportunities across almost all business sectors. Over the past few years, the area has become a haven for companies making consumer electronics and increased its footprint by becoming a significant hub for the production of automobiles. Additionally, the advancement of 3D printing-type technologies is facilitated by the research and development in the healthcare fields carried out by scientists and researchers in important nations like Japan, China, and South Korea.
Europe is another region that regularly conducts extensive research and development related to additive manufacturing because of the abundance of technical know-how and raw materials. A few facts include that the sophisticated researchers, technicians, and scientists in Europe are putting in more work to invent the future of 3D printing, which is also accepted by the world's top economies like the U.S., Japan, and Russia. Europe has a vast geographic footprint, and several nations, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and others, actively invest extensively in additive manufacturing. These elements are causing the region's three-dimensional printing industry to grow steadily.
The global metal 3D printing market’s major key players are 3D Systems Corporation (U.S.), Stratasys Ltd., Renishaw plc, General Electric Company, Carpenter Technology Corporation, Materialise NV, Voxeljet AG, Sandvik AB, EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, The ExOne Company and Proto Labs, Inc.