Grand View Research, Inc. issued a report that forecasts the global 3D printing metals market to reach $3.05 billion by 2025. The 2017 market size was valued at $334 million, so reaching $3 billion six years from now would require a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 31.8%, an impressive rate that will likely catch the attention of even more investors.
The growth of metal printing between 2014 and 2017 was heavily driven by early adoption in the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry where complex geometries of titanium and steel are regular requirements; the segment accounted for 40% of total volume during the year.
While A&D was the largest segment in 2017, the medical and dental segment is forecasted to grow rapidly with a 30.3% CAGR. Rapid production of customized, biocompatible solutions is driving adoption of metal printing in the healthcare industry. In critical situations, a shorter supply chain is a big advantage.
Powders accounted for 95% of overall revenue due to the development of production processes that ensure the highly-spherical particles that are desired for their free-flowing characteristics. As a result, industries gained increased access to industrial-grade steel, nickel, titanium, and aluminum powders for 3D printing. Titanium was the most popular metal powder, capturing 63% of revenue thanks to its high tensile strength, low weight, and high corrosion resistance. Inconel is anticipated to increase its market share and metal wire filament is expected to experience growth as well, though increased adoption of powders will tamper that growth.
With 35% of market volume in 2017, North America was the region that used the most metal 3D printing, which is related to the fact that the region also spends the most on A&D. Many key industry players are headquartered in the United States such as 3D Systems, Stratasys, and ExOne, and they all have extensive expansion initiatives to reach out to new market segments, so the region is expected to grow at a steady pace.
In terms of growth, the Asia Pacific region will likely expand fastest with a projected CAGR of 34.1%. Various investments from government and private institutions are responsible for that growth. By 2025, Europe is expected to be the highest revenue contributor to the metal 3D printing market, due in part to its growing aviation industry that’s been steadily integrating additive manufacturing into aircraft supply chains.