Additive manufacturing for civil aviation to top $1.5B in 2020

Overall $7 billion business expected within 10 years

The opportunities in additive manufacturing for civil aviation parts production are beyond question. The number of application cases leveraging AM’s value proposition continues to expand, increasingly driven by some of the largest aviation part suppliers, including GE Aviation, MTU, Rolls Royce, Safran, Honeywell, and others. SmarTech Analysis2019 Report on Additive Manufacturing for Civil Aviation Part Production is forecasting this to translate into a $7 billion overall yearly business opportunity within the next ten years, including hardware, materials and parts/services revenues.

2019 Market Report

AM for Civil Aviation Part Production

This realistic forecast, compared to other analysis published recently, is based on the combination of in-depth bottom-up analysis and top-down analysis (shown in the chart below). The bottom-up study leverages SmarTech’s own extensive database of hardware and material sales as well as 3dpbm’s continuing and ongoing market tracking, through the company’s market tracking tools (including the website you are reading this on now and, 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest and most complete global Index of AM companies). The top-down research includes an analysis of the aviation segment overall through several interviews conducted with key aviation market stakeholders with respect to AM adoption.

The above chart compares revenues from additively manufactured final parts in civil aviation from both a bottom-up and a top-down approach. Source: SmarTech Analysis

As shown in the chart below, the two analysis – one (top-down) reflecting the potential for AM adoption by aviation industry companies and the other (bottom-up) reflecting the growth potential for AM companies involved in the aviation market – coincide almost perfectly, further verifying the accuracy of the projections presented in over 60 charts throughout the report.

What lies ahead in additive manufacturing for civil aviation?

By choosing to adopt AM, tier 1 suppliers have increased pressure on all other suppliers to do the same. Many of them are now rising to challenge, widening the number of AM adopters in the industry as well as the number of tested applications.

This report identifies and assesses the business potential of these trends, in light of the latest developments for additive manufacturing in aviation, focusing exclusively on end-use part production (for tools and final parts). This includes detailed ten-year forecasts of the revenue generation potential for additive manufacturing hardware, materials and services in the civil aviation sector (the totals for all these segments are shown in the chart below). These forecasts are presented in both volume and value ($ Millions) terms and cover printer shipments and install base, revenues from specialist aerospace service bureaus, aerospace-related AM software, and materials (metals, polymers, and composites).

The chart above shows the totals for the overall market for additive manufacturing in civil aviation, resulting in a $7 billion yearly opportunity by 2029. Source: SmarTech Analysis.

In particular, this new edition of SmarTech Analysis’ report includes a detailed ten-year forecast of end-use part production, including detailed part-specific forecast supported by dozens of relevant application cases. As part of a strategic assessment of the leading firms supplying the “additive aerospace” sector,  these are divided into airline MROs (insourcing) and major aircraft frame builders, tier 1 (engine builders) and tier 2 aviation parts suppliers, AM service bureaus

Finally, SmarTech will present an analysis of how this segment of the aerospace industry is changing its strategies and adoption patterns for metal AM and is exploiting the improvements that have occurred in the last few years primarily focusing on process automation. The aerospace segment has seen larger than ever before investments in AM hardware and materials and these trends continue to indicate that the market for AM in commercial and general aviation is still only at the very beginning of its potential growth curve.

Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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