3D Metal Printing (DMLS) is getting bigger. In a recent article published by 3D Printing Industry, author Davide Sher highlights some of the reasons why the 3D Metal Printing industry isn’t shrinking or declining, it’s getting much bigger.
One of the reasons the 3D metal printing industry is getting bigger is competition. When you see tough competition, this indicates the need for the services and equipment or there wouldn’t be anyone in the market. There are currently about eight players in the space and more are coming onboard. EOS is one of the market leaders along with Concept Laser.
Second, there are increasingly more technologies being used for 3D Metal printing. There are other technological approaches, for example, like the binder jetting technology proposed by ExOne and Digital Metals. Although binder jetting needs post processing, the technology can do things that powder bed fusion (currently the most widely used method) cannot. These newer technologies will open yet unseen possibilities for thin walls, high detail, smooth finish, and fully dense parts that may even be made up of multiple materials in the future.
Third, there is actual demand for production parts coming out of 3D metal printing. Both the automotive industry and the aerospace industry have began making parts not just for prototyping but actual production.
In the aerospace industry, the use of topological optimization and generative design is soon going to be a must in order to meet the environmental requirements of tomorrow.
Another indication for growth was highlighted in this Forbes article,
When GE, for example, chooses to invest $3.5 billionto purchase the 3D-printing machines that can produce metal parts and train the staff needed to run them, it’s not doing so because the technology is cool—it’s doing so because that’s where the additive manufacturing industry is headed.