Industry trends

Metal additive manufacturing on the move

| Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais / Ahlam Rais

Many global companies have acquired metal additive companies to boost their in-house production of 3D printed parts.
Many global companies have acquired metal additive companies to boost their in-house production of 3D printed parts. (Source: Deposit Photos)

Reports predict the metal additive manufacturing market to grow to over 6.6 billion dollars by 2026. It is in this background that we take a look at the latest market acquisitions and trends of this growing segment.

Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm has recently released its new report on the metal additive manufacturing industry. According to the Wohlers Report, an estimated 1,768 metal additive manufacturing systems were sold in 2017 as compared to 983 systems in 2016, an increase of nearly 80 %.

This is owing to the fact that global manufacturers are now steadily becoming aware of the numerous benefits of producing metal parts via additive manufacturing. In another report SmarTech Publishing’s proprietary market models forecasts the metal additive manufacturing market to grow to over 6.6 billion dollars by 2026.

Market acquisitions

Tracking the growth of this new arena, many global companies have acquired metal additive companies to boost their in-house production of 3D printed parts. For instance, General Electric (GE) acquired a controlling stake (77 %) in Swedish metal additive manufacturing company, Arcam for 1.4 billion dollars and later on intended to acquire the remaining shares of the firm which produces electron beam melting machines for metal 3D printing. GE also acquired 75% of the shares of another European additive manufacturing company called Concept Laser in 2016. Today, both the companies help in GE’s jet engine manufacturing business.

Manufacturing complete electric engines in a 3D printer

Hannover Messe 2018

Manufacturing complete electric engines in a 3D printer

03/28/2018 - Researchers at TU Chemnitz use a self-developed 3D-print procedure to manufacture additively the first worldwide electric engine made of iron, copper and ceramics. This innovation is presented by the university at Hannover Messe. read...

In addition to this, Carpenter Technology Corporation, a US-based company develops, manufactures and distributes stainless steels and special corrosion-resistant alloys, primarily for use in the aerospace, industrial, energy, transportation, and medical industries. In February 2018, the firm announced that it has purchased MB CalRAM, a leader in powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing metal printing services.

The acquisition enabled Carpenter to produce highly engineered metal powders and wire for additive manufacturing applications, including mission-critical applications such as jet-engine fuel nozzles, rocket-thrust chambers, and orthopedic implants. The deal is also expected to accelerate and enhance the company’s ability to be the preferred provider of end-to-end next generation additive manufacturing solutions.

Trends in metal additive manufacturing

Some of the leading automobile giants are significantly investing in metal additive manufacturing for research and development purposes. For instance, the luxury car maker, BMW uses water pump wheels in its DTM vehicles. The wheels are made of an aluminium alloy and are made by using 3D printing technologies for metal. Similarly, metal additive manufacturing can also be used in various other industries such as medical, aerospace, and other applications.

There is no doubt that metal additive manufacturing is the future of the manufacturing industry. Hence, diverse events such as Hannover Messe will also be showcasing the latest innovations in this space so that its worldwide visitors stay informed about the numerous business opportunities that exist in this segment.

Metal additive manufacturing is the future, metal additive manufacturing is here to stay!

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