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Ongoing upswing in the AM sector

Double-digit growth despite consolidation

Text: Thomas Masuch, 16 May 2024

Even though some major AM players have recently scaled back their forecasts, the overall Additive Manufacturing market continued to see double-digit growth last year. The leading market reports in the additive world, Wohlers Report and the Ampower Report, put the market’s growth at 11.1% and 10.3%, respectively. The user industries driving this expansion include the aerospace and defense sectors.

The market researchers are also confident about the future: although the growth forecasts have also been reduced to some extent, they are still clearly in the double-digit range. Wohlers Report 2024 forecasts average annual market growth of 17% over the next ten years, while the Ampower Report projects 13.9% for each of the next five years.

Significantly more mergers and acquisitions

According to Wohlers Report, the AM industry could generate revenue of USD 20.035 billion in 2023, exceeding the 20-billion mark for the first time. Nevertheless, Terry Wohlers also sees consolidation in the industry: “33 mergers and acquisitions occurred from March 2023 to February 2024. This compares to 21 transactions in 2022. I expect this trend to continue because many companies in AM are interesting, creating good value, and are targets for acquisition.”

Grafiken_Wohlers_Report_EN

According to the Hamburg-based consulting firm Ampower, the global market for industrial Additive Manufacturing (metals and polymers) reached a volume of EUR 10.5 billion in 2023. The business of equipment suppliers developed more slowly than expected, growing by around 5% in 2023. However, this segment is expected to grow at a higher annual rate of around 16% in the future – thanks in particular by the APAC region. Ampower also anticipates further growth due to ongoing improvements in post-processing methods, new materials, and the certification of new designs in combination with industry standards.

A very dynamic aerospace sector

While Additive Manufacturing continues to grow strongly in the aerospace industry, investment in AM systems in the automotive sector is stagnating according to the Ampower Report. Prototyping, toolmaking, production equipment, and fixtures have found their place here, but there are too few large-scale production applications. In order to generate further growth, AM technologies for large-scale manufacturing, such as binder jetting, must reach the necessary level of industrial maturity to be suitable for applications in the automotive industry. Ampower also continues to see a high level of acceptance of AM in the dental industry in both the polymer and metal segments. Here, the technology is used in particular to produce molds for aligners and metal dental prostheses.

According to our research for Wohlers Report 2024, automotive, consumer products, and medical/dental are the three largest markets for AM products and services worldwide. Meanwhile, aerospace and national defense were among the most vibrant sectors over the past year. The use of AM in producing rocket engine parts has been particularly interesting and dynamic.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

wohlersassociates.com 
ampower.eu

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  • Market reports and studies