In 2019, various market forecasters and analysts see the additive manufacturing (AM) market going through a shake out and this will affect the demand for metal AM. The dominant metal AM technology has been powder bed fusion and variations. Other versions of metal AM, like laser sintering or melting, appeal to specific applications.
But the metal AM market has advanced and there are now three segments to this market, one of which is metal binder. As companies explore these segments, analysts and forecasters see the demand pattern changing. Analysts believe that competition in powder bed fusion is affecting demand so that demand has not increased as it has with other AM technologies yet.
In many cases this development is due to users not sure about where to go next with additive technology. AM technology continues to evolve but education on AM’s capabilities is not where it should be.
As of 2019, though, the biggest opportunities are in aerospace and healthcare for metal AM. Although applications in oil and gas and industry show the potential for a steady rise. As the mastery of metal AM grows in many industrial companies, so too will the demand for metal AM. The automotive industry is still a big user of metal AM but that industry is undergoing other challenges. Metal binder AM systems, such as Markforged and Desktop Metal show strong promise for use in these industries and may lead to greater adoption of metal AM.