A new study of the metal additive manufacturing service bureau market has been released by SmarTech Publishing. The report is “Metal 3D Printing Services: Service Revenues, Printer Purchases and Materials Consumption – 2018 to 2027.”
The report analyzes the opportunities for metal additive manufacturing services offered by service bureaus, ranging over a variety of service bureaus including those owned by the printer manufacturers, independent operators and firms that provide services to customers over a cloud or hub network.
Ten-year forecasts of activity at AM service bureau include projections of the number of parts printed (prototypes, tools final parts), service provider revenues (by end user type), printers purchased by service bureaus (by AM technology) and metals consumed (by type of metal). Service bureau end users covered in this report include aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, medical and dental customers.
The firms profiled in this report include: 3D Systems, BeamIT, Burloak, Carpenter, DM3D, ExOne, FIT, GE Additive, Hoganas, HP, i3DMFG, Materialise, MTI, Oerlikon, Protolabs, Renishaw, Sculpteo, Sintavia, Siemens (Material Solutions) and Stratasys.
Metal is capturing attention in the additive market as companies look to leverage the benefits and opportunities it provides. As polymer-based 3D printing has moved inside of end user companies, service bureaus are moving to metal as the next iteration of their businesses. SmarTech expects revenues from metals service bureau to reach $6.7 billion by 2023 and then almost double by 2027.
While metal based 3d printing is a growing market, the margins available to service bureaus are not what they have traditionally enjoyed. This has led firms to pursue strategies of specialization, providing broad network-based services, cloud-based offerings or high-value design, marketing and integration offerings.
Service bureaus are also seen as a means for companies to sell hardware both as a direct customer but also for systems companies to introduce their offerings to customer or for the bureaus to act as AM evangelists for the market.
Longer term, service bureaus will become more important in the market as machines become commoditized and China based manufacturers begin to compete in the market. As this happens AM services, will become more important, especially post processing and finishing services, inspection and quality assurance measures, and material analysis and application R&D, so that the service bureau can act as “outsourced expert’ for metal AM.”
Metal service bureaus will buy almost $550 million in printers by 2023, most of which will be powder based fusion machines. Also, in 2023, AM service bureaus will consume more than $250 million in metals.
Click here to obtain a copy of the report.