The rapidly evolving market for additive manufacturing automation is a key segment for 3D printing-related hardware manufacturers and 3D printing adopters. It is expected to evolve into an $11B opportunity and it also represents the most important path for AM to achieve production-readiness and scalability. Thus, both need to take into consideration the integration of 3D printers within fully automated production workflows.

The latest evolutionary trends for AM hardware have shown beyond doubt that Industrial 3D printers are no longer just stand-alone systems, used mostly for prototyping, tooling and single-part production. They are increasingly seen as the core systems within integrated digital mass production lines. As a result, a number of opportunities are emerging in the transformation of the lights off factory of tomorrow.

Over the past four year period, 3D printing has continued to shift from prototyping and small batches to a mass customization production technology. Thus all major industrial and non-industrial 3D printer makers started integrating their systems.

In the report published in 2017, SmarTech Analysis was already looking closely at this segment and accurately forecasted strong growth, with the market for additive manufacturing automation projected to be worth more than $11 billion in yearly generated sales by 2027. Source: SmarTech Publishing.

Additive manufacturing automation takes place both within 3D printer networks (or “farms”) and within automated production lines. Over the next ten years, the majority of industrial 3D printers will be production-ready and will integrate native or add-on automation capabilities.

Those who build the infrastructure for the digital, additive, automated factory of tomorrow will be at the forefront of the ongoing industrial revolution. In this week’s AM Focus, we look at the latest trends in additive manufacturing automation.

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