SmarTech Analysis, market analysis and consulting services to the additive manufacturing industry, found that metal additive manufacturing activity in the first quarter of 2021 increased by double digits -around 11% globally in terms of total revenues -compared to the same period in 2021 according to its latest quarterly report. The report, released to advisory services clients last week, found that print services revenues grew only a small amount year-over-year, while revenues from metal AM hardware systems were up 35%. The current trend begins to fulfill what many, including SmarTech, have predicted for the additive industry in the wake of the coronavirus, however, the report notes that unforeseen challenges remain somewhat of a damper on expansion of the industry thus far.
The metal additive market continued its expected recovery from the second half of 2020 throughout the first quarter of the year. At its current trajectory, the metal AM market will reach pre-pandemic levels by end of 2021. Then, the question becomes whether or not the market fulfills the expectation of a continued growth trajectory beyond historic levels, which were already depressed through 2019 on weaker manufacturing trends and lengthy, difficult implementation processes for many leading metal additive technologies. The latest report indicates positive momentum in the market which are contributing to recovery in several key areas.
From the report:
• The trend in M&A activity and industry consolidation, as well as moves to publicly held operating structures, reached what may be the peak in Q1 2021, which when taken in aggregate with those in the second half of 2020, will fundamentally alter the metal additive market going forward
• Several major stakeholders both in the AM market and adjacent to it in broader metals-based manufacturing reported continued positive sentiments in their business conditions during the end of 2020 and into Q1 2021. Several notable AM companies are now reporting their 2021 expectations for double digit revenue growth vs. 2020 in the 15% range. Meanwhile, several large global manufacturing companies including Sandvik and Voestalpine (both involved to a degree in the AM industry) reported stronger responses from the automotive and manufacturing markets, further indicating a positive overall outlook for recovery
• Unforeseen challenges continue to loom however, mainly around the issues currently affecting many industries in the wake of COVID like supply shortages, shipping and freight challenges, and more. While all of these challenges create net positive sentiments for additive manufacturing technologies in the future, these phenomenon continue to put real constraints on the ability for the industry overall to accelerate quickly in growth while the core customer base are still being impacted
This quarterly report is available as a one-time purchase to non-subscribers via SmarTech’s website.