(PRWEB) February 27, 2014
Charlottesville, Virginia: A new report from SmarTech Publishing, the industry analyst firm based here, says that sales to the aerospace industry of additive manufacturing (AM) equipment and associated software, services and materials will reach $805 million in 2019 going on to reach $1.2 billion by 2023.
According to the new SmarTech report – "Additive Manufacturing Opportunities in the Aerospace Industry: A Ten-Year Forecast" – aerospace is the second largest industry sector served by AM currently (after dental/medical). AM prototyping solutions have been part of aircraft manufacturing since the 1980s. In future AM will enable aerospace firms to reduce labor costs, minimize manual assembly, and reduce the weight of aircraft.
For further details of the report see: goo.gl/2jrYnt
About the report:
This new report covers AM opportunities in the commercial aviation, military aerospace, and space sectors. It analyzes how AM creates value in these sectors through prototyping, reduction of complex sub-assemblies, weight reduction, supply chain improvements, and use of improved materials.
The report also includes a detailed ten-year forecast covering SLS, SL/SLA, DMLS, DED and FDM machines, along with related software and materials (titanium, nickel, thermoplastics and epoxy acrylates). In its forecasts, SmarTech adopted a two-pronged methodology. It built projections from the bottom up, starting with current equipment sales. SmarTech then also constructed a top-down forecast, based on funding available for AM in aerospace. SmarTech believes that the convergence of these two separate forecasts will provide additional confidence in our projections for aerospace AM.
The report both provides an strategic analysis of leading players in aerospace-related AM and includes real world examples of where AM is already making large contributions to the aerospace industry’s bottom line.
Companies discussed in this report include 3D Systems, Airbus, Arcam, BAE Systems, Boeing, Concept Laser, DSM, EOS, GE Aviation, CRP, Direct Manufacturing, EnvisionTEC, Ex-One, Honeywell, Kelly Manufacturing, Lithoz, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Optomec, Oxford Performance Materials, Rolls-Royce, RTI International Metals, Sciaki, SLM Solutions, Stratasys, Trumpf and Within Technologies
From the report:
Metal powder bed systems account for much of the opportunity for AM in aerospace. Indeed by 2019, revenues from powder bed equipment alone will be more than $305 million and this figure is expected to grow to $485 million in 2023. SmarTech believes that the use of powder bed equipment can further the use of titanium and nickel materials in commercial aircraft. It also notes that the latest powder bed systems are becoming more robust industrial machines that can handle more types of materials and different types of energy source and so are better suited than ever before to the aerospace manufacturing environment.
This report also emphasizes that AM can lead to substantial weight reductions; a priority in the manufacturing of commercial aviation since the gas price hikes of 2004. Case studies have shown that AM can result in 50-70% weight reduction in select parts, creating a strong incentive for AM to be used in aerospace manufacturing. For example, AM manufactured high-grade thermoplastic can be substituted for aluminum structural components that make up, for example, 20 percent of the new Boeing 787. These new thermoplastics exhibit comparable properties to milled aluminum but at only half the weight.
It is also estimated that AM manufacturing of some parts in an airplane could reduce aircraft manufacturers material consumption by 75%. Because of the cost effectiveness of AM, SmarTech expects AM materials sales to grow to about $150 million by 2019.
Meanwhile, current AM machines are best equipped to handle metal part orders of 1,000 or less, but this number is increasing. However, the report warns that the adoption of AM technology in the aerospace industry will be slowed down by the fact that before actually using AM, aerospace manufacturers must incur the costs of design and testing.
About SmarTech Markets Publishing:
SmarTech offers the best in industry analysis and forecasting for the additive manufacturing/3D-printing sector. Our published reports and customized consulting work provide clients with guidance on the direction that 3D printing is taking and how to capitalize on available opportunities.
See http://www.smartechpublishing.com for more detail on our reports and other services.