Metal is the Future and Leads the 3D Printing Market

SPI Lasers optimisum regarding the prospects of the metal 3D printing market; were recently backed up by a report from IDTechEx which we discuss in this article.

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New report shows explosive growth potential of 3D metal printing

A new report from IDTechEx entitled “3D Printing of Metals: 2015-2025” forecasts explosive growth for metal 3D printing over this 10-year period. Although 3D printing also uses materials such as food and plastic, the future looks especially bright for metal.

Key report findings and highlights

Key report highlights show:

  • A continual move towards full production metal parts and away from the current use of plastic based prototype versions
  • The Metals sector is the most rapidly growing category of 3D printing:
    • Printer sales are growing at 48% and
    • Material sales are growing at 32%
  • The earliest adopters of 3D printing have typically been high value, low volume, which has particularly been suitable for industries such as Aerospace, Biomedical and Jewellery. One example given in Aerospace is a $3.5billion investment in a production plant to make 100,000 fuel nozzles a year by 2020. Manufacturers are increasingly making heavier infrastructural investments in 3D printing technology
  • Specific examples of industrial applications of 3D printing include:
    • Aerospace – NASA intends to 3D print 80%+ of future rocket engines
    • Dental – Parts such as copings and bridges are being made using metal 3D printing
    • Jewellery – 3D printing is very suitable for jewellery production. Complex, bespoke, unique shapes can all be produced whilst giving the designer absolute freedom to express themselves
  • Metals being used in 3D printing include aluminium, bronze, cobalt alloys, copper, gold, nickel alloys, nitinol, palladium, platinum, silver, steel, titanium alloys and tungsten
Interesting shapes such as this cutlery set are increasingly popular through 3D printing

Interesting shapes such as this cutlery set are increasingly popular through 3D printing

More report information

The report has been produced based on market intelligence over a number of years. Twenty nine companies working in the 3D printing industry have been involved including (ten 3D printer manufacturers, seven metal powder suppliers and ten heavy spend end-users of this technology).

Contacting SPI Lasers

SPI Lasers are committed to the future of 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Our innovative suite of Fiber Laser products ensures we have the optimum laser suited to your metal additive manufacturing requirements. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business performance and productivity.


Image Credits: Henry and Mawumefa Dotse


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