Design Engineering

Metal 3D printing material vendors see growth opportunity


Additive Manufacturing 3D printing materials metal

In 2015, plastic materials made up over half of the market share but metals continue to be an area of opportunity.

Tech research company Technavio has identified key players in the global 3D printing materials market. The additive manufacturing industry is growing at a rapid pace and the 3D printing materials market is growing along with it. The report suggests that the market will to grow at a CAGR of more than 25% by 2020.

EOS dental crown 3D printing

Photo courtesy of EOS

One area of particular growth is in metal materials over the traditional plastics, which made up 50 per cent of the market segment in 2015.

“Metal 3D printing is widely adopted for prototyping processes because it can produce complex shapes with shorter lead time,” the report explains. “Some of the high valued products from 3D printing are aircraft engines and turbine components. Metal 3D printing is also used in manufacturing inserts, direct tooling, and molds with cooling channels in the tool and mold making segment. The industrial end users of such 3D printing technique include service bureaus, research institutions, and aerospace industry.”

3D bioprinting technology is another market segment that is growing rapidly. Bioprinting is used primarily in the healthcare sector.


Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is the fastest-growing region in the 3D printing materials market and is anticipated to register a CAGR of around 24% during the forecast period. Much of the growth comes from the automotive segment with Germany as a hub for the automotive industry.

With the aerospace and automotive industries developing new ways to integrate 3D printing into their manufacturing process, the market will continue to expand and so will the need for materials vendors offering plastics, steel, nickel, cobalt-chrome, titanium, and aluminum 3D printing materials.

“The vendors in the market are focusing to increase their portfolio to cater to the growing demand and survive in the competitive market,” the report says. “The rapid growth rate of aerospace, healthcare, and automotive industries has propelled several vendors to make investments in these sectors. Vendors focus on accuracy and precision to sustain the competition in the market.”

The key vendors in the market are Arcam (Sweden), EOS (Germany), Hoganas (Sweden), Sandvik (Sweden), Solvay (Belgium).

Other prominent vendors in the 3D printing materials market include Concept Laser, ExOne, and Renishaw.


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