Top Insights on the Commercial Aerospace 3D Printing Market | Technavio

LONDON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 3, 2018 — The global commercial aerospace 3D printing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 23% during the period 2017-2021, according to a new market research study by Technavio.

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Technavio has published a new market research report on the global commercial aerospace 3D printing  ...

Technavio has published a new market research report on the global commercial aerospace 3D printing market 2017-2021 under their aerospace and defense library. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The report categorizes the global commercial aerospace 3D printing market by 3D printing vertical that include printing technologies and materials. The report also determines the geographic breakdown of the market in terms of detailed analysis and impact, which includes key geographies such as APAC, the Americas, and EMEA.

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Market driver: improved part performance with weight reduction

3D printing technology has provided designers with the freedom to explore complex part designs that can deliver maximum performance. It also facilitates the integration of parts. With conventional methods of product manufacturing, designers were required to check for feasibility based on manufacturing constraints involved. For instance, sheet and wire cannot be produced by casting. 3D printing has no such restrictions and the flexibility in design and production can be ensured.

According to Ramyabrata Chakraborty, a lead analyst at Technavio for aerospace manufacturing research, “With 3D printing, it is possible to produce lightweight structures for prototyping the final product. The technology enables the creation of intricate geometries that can drastically reduce the weight of a component while maintaining its structural strength. The reduction in weight assists designers in achieving lower material costs along with fuel savings. In the aerospace industry, reducing the overall weight of components is crucial for lowering fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.”

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Market trend: combining 3D printing with traditional manufacturing

The trend of 3D printing is in its initial phase of development. Nevertheless, it has had a wide impact on several manufacturing industries. Researchers have paired traditional manufacturing with 3D printing and are anticipating greater profitability with this combination. For instance, in October 2015, Siemens launched the new NX Hybrid additive manufacturing software that uses conventional manufacturing and additive manufacturing for production. It is a hybrid process that combines conventional processes such as boring, milling, and grinding with additive manufacturing such as 3D printing. The company used the laser deposition process for building burner heads of gas turbines with metal powder. The burner was developed in innovative shapes such as honeycomb.

Market challenge: restriction for build-up envelope and product size

An aircraft consists of very large components and the acceptance of 3D printing will depend on how these products can be produced using this technology. Most technologies offer systems with limited scope that makes 3D printing applicable for only small components. This is applicable to almost all 3D printing processes, but the major issue in aircraft is with powder bed fusion process a widely applied technology for metal printing.

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Some of the vendors in the market

  • Arcam
  • EOS
  • Arconic
  • ExOne
  • GKN
  • Höganäs
  • Materialise
  • Stratasys

The global aerospace 3D printing market is still in its innovative stage and the advantages of using 3D-printed components have piqued wide interest from aircraft manufacturers. Many manufacturers are investing in R&D to bring innovation in the product and gain more market shares. There is a growing possibility of change in the market share of key vendors as new entrants may offer a comprehensive array of parts and components in a financially viable way.

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