1 April 2021 — While the suppliers of metal AM systems had a difficult year 2020 and had to struggle with declining revenues overall, the service providers in the metal sector came through the crisis year 2020 quite unscathed. This is the conclusion of Ampower's current market report, which at least notes a slight growth of 0.5 percent for 2020 in the additive metal market. However, the authors at the Hamburg-based AM consultancy see the AM market quickly returning to its old growth rate and achieving significant double-digit growth over the next few years.
The authors of the report, which is based on 300 personal interviews with manufacturers and users, forecast strong growth in the metal sector in particular. In the coming years, this area is expected to grow by 29 percent annually - driven, among other things, by the space industry, which is increasingly relying on AM (we reported in the FON-Mag) and could thus already compensate for the slump in sales in the crisis-ridden aviation market in 2020.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES DRIVE GROWTH
This year Ampower expanded the report for the first time to include the polymer market. At around EUR 5 billion, it is more than twice as large as the metal market but expects significantly lower growth at a good 15%. The market for materials and component manufacturing is significantly larger in polymer than in metal. Overall, the market for additive manufacturing of polymers and metals will grow to over EUR 17 billion by 2025.
The authors at Ampower believe that further growth in the industry will also be driven by new developments and the increased use of new manufacturing technologies. "Powder bed systems still account for the majority of 3D printing processes in the industrial sector for both metal and plastic. For 2025 we expect a decrease in this share and a significant increase in sales of alternative additive technologies such as Binder Jetting (BJT) in metal and Area Wise Vat Polymerization (DLP) in polymer." says Maximilian Munsch, partner at Ampower.
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