Additive Manufacturing in Commercial and General Aviation to Top $3 Billion by 2022
Revenues from additive manufacturing hardware, software, materials and services for commercial and general aviation are predicted to reach around $1.7 billion in 2020, rising to $3.3 billion in 2022, according to a report available from Research and Markets. Within the past five years, the aerospace industry has invested heavily to explore the possibilities for additive manufacturing technology to produce aircraft components in a more cost-effective manner, or fabricate advanced components not feasible through traditional manufacturing methods.
Revenues from hardware for non-defense aerospace markets will reach $650 million in 2020, with about half these revenues coming from powder bed fusion. Powder bed firms are expected to build machines with larger print bed sizes to push into new aerospace applications. Meanwhile, the short-term outlook for metal powder bed in commercial aerospace is largely positive thanks to commitment from aerospace engine suppliers to manufacture select components beginning in late 2015.
Revenues from materials sold to the non-defense aerospace sector are expected to reach $355 million in 2020, with $170 million from metals. From a revenue standpoint, titanium remains the biggest opportunity. However, many firms are working to expand opportunities in nickel alloys, cobalt chrome, and aluminum alloys. Meanwhile, several large general aviation manufacturers have transitioned select polymer parts to production with 3D printing rather than traditional methods.
The non-defense aerospace sector is expected to spend $700 million on services in 2020. However, there are some concerns in the service provider community that print volumes from aerospace customers may eventually erode as manufacturing operations move in-house.
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