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SmarTech Analysis Issues Report on Aluminum Alloy Additive Manufacturing, Sees 40% Annual Growth Rate for Next Several Years

SmarTech Analysis, the leading provider of additive manufacturing market data and market analysis, has released a new market tracking and forecast report and database for aluminum alloy additive manufacturing (AM) opportunities. The report highlights the rapidly diversifying aluminum segment in metal printing, which will remain the fastest growing primary metal group for AM through the next ten-year forecast period.

According to the report, aluminum alloy materials accounted for almost 10 percent of all printed metal content in 2018, resulting in a 43 percent growth in aluminum powder shipments by a supply chain that is rapidly maturing to catch up to other metal segments. The firm expects 2019 and subsequent years to achieve similar growth rates.

The latest report is part of a two-piece analysis package featuring a robust database on aluminum-based additive manufacturing opportunities including powder shipments, hardware opportunities, pricing trends, market shares, and much more.

SmarTech has recently issued similar reports on steels, copper, nickel, and titanium in additive manufacturing.

About the Report:

This two-part resource is a continuation of a new series of market intelligence offerings from SmarTech Publishing which provides stakeholders in aluminum-based additive manufacturing an off-the-shelf resource for market metrics and forecasts specific to a rapidly growing segment of the industry. The analysis is both broad and deep, with tracked data covering material shipments and revenues by end user industry and geographic region, as well as by consuming print technology and other metrics. The package can easily be plugged into existing internal market intelligence resources or dissected to provide business intelligence across organizations. The accompanying short report provides context for the data by analyzing the latest events and trends in the aluminum AM market as they relate to various forecasted data.

From the Report:

  • SmarTech believes there are two notable major developments that are occurring today since the publication of its last study that are influencing the market to new directions. One of these is the global supply chain for aluminum metal materials in manufacturing appears to have ‘crossed the threshold’ in supporting additive manufacturing as a major next-generation opportunity in aluminum manufacturing. In this way, research, support, supply, and interest in aluminum AM is now beginning to catch up to being equal with the titanium, nickel, and steel industries with regards to additive technologies.
  • The continued development and challenges associated with developing solutions for printing of aluminum parts via bound metal printing processes—whether bound metal deposition or metal binder jetting processes –are ongoing. However, many stakeholders in these areas have shifted focus to other more immediately impactful materials like steels. Sintering of printed green stage aluminum parts is likely to be commercialized, but SmarTech expects that aluminum printing will be highly concentrated in the powder bed fusion (PBF) segment for the foreseeable future, acting as a competitive insulator for PBF against other metal AM processes.
  • Development and commercialization of aluminum alloys for printing has increased significantly, in all major groups of aluminum alloy classifications. Though SmarTech still expects that AM-specific, specialized alloys containing rare-earth or transition metal elements will play a large role in the future of aluminum printing, we now anticipate strong growth in printing of popular wrought alloy formulations which have been slightly tweaked for stability and economic processing using additive technologies. This is also true, perhaps to a slightly lesser degree, in casting formulations, creating a much more diverse aluminum AM opportunity in the next five years than existed just a few years ago.