Metal Additive Manufacturing

For many, metal additive manufacturing is not just the fastest growing area of industrial 3D printing – it is industrial 3D printing. The segment is booming, it has been booming for nearly a decade and is likely to continue to grow very rapidly for foreseeable future.

Any recently recorded slow-down in adoption only concerns specific technologies. For example, laser PBF experienced a phase of extreme growth and then a relatively slower period as other processes such as laser (and other types of) DED enjoyed more widespread adoption.

Now the metal AM market seems ready (in fact it has seemed ready for a couple of years now) to enter its next major phase of growth, driven by process optimization, automation, and industrialization of PBF and DED.

New companies, such as Velo3D and Aurora Labs, are entering the PBF segment proposing new and more efficient or affordable solutions. While the DED segment has been skyrocketing with several major industrial machine tool manufacturers now actively targeting AM as the next key area of growth.

This relatively consolidated (but still very CapEx intensive) approach is soon to be combined with (still a few years away) massive adoption of planar metal binder jetting technologies. This segment, led by pioneers ExOne, is now being populated by aggressive competitors such as Desktop Metal (the first company to target metal additive manufacturing for mass production), and large firms leading the AM industry’s expansion such as HP and General Electric.

At the same time, a large number of new technological approaches are populating this market. These include affordable bound metal printing, leveraging filament extrusion processes, and high-res metal printing, leveraging stereolithography-based bound metal AM. Other processes, which leverage different types of cold metal consolidation (ultrasonic, kinetic) are targeting very high-speed production of extremely large parts.

The combination of all these technologies is creating a sort of a perfect storm in metal AM, which is portrayed in this preliminary Map of Metal Additive Manufacturing Technologies (the map was extracted as part of 3dpbm’s complete Map of Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Companies).

Latest metal additive manufacturing news:

  • Wayland Additive to showcase its new EB-PBF tech at Formnext

    Wayland Additive will be an exhibitor at Formnext, Frankfurt as it presents its Calibur3 metal AM technology at a high-profile industrial B2B event for the first time. Wayland’s Calibur3 (featuring the NeuBeam process) moved from R&D to commercial availability early in 2021, and the company has already sold its first…

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  • Markus Glasser during a

    Repeatability in AM is within reach

    Although the company’s headquarters are near Munich, EOS plays at home at the AMTC’s 2021 location in Aachen. The market leader for metal and polymer PBF systems is working hard on constantly improving repeatability in AM and the reproducibility of additive production. That’s the topic that EOS Senior Vice President…

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  • Element22 uses Headmade CMF technology for titanium 3D printing

    The production facilities of titanium specialist Element22 in Kiel recently welcomed a new member: a Formiga P110 SLS system from EOS. The reason for the new acquisition at Element22 is the implementation of the sinter-based 3D printing technology Cold Metal Fusion, or CMF technology (aka Metal SLS), from Headmade Materials…

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  • A 3D printed elevator to the future

    Some skyscraper elevators offer spectacular views. Other fully transparent panoramic elevator cars already do look stylish inside large hotel lobbies and shopping centers. But until today their shape has remained rather standard and boxy (or cylindrical at most). The latest collaboration between the metal DED innovators at MX3D (the same…

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  • xT to include metal AM powders from Aubert & Duval into xT AMi platform

    Exponential Technologies Ltd. (xT) is partnering with Aubert & Duval to further accelerate the industrial expansion of additive manufacturing (AM) and reduce barriers to deploying AM technologies at scale. The goal of the collaboration is to include Aubert & Duval’s metal powder products for powder bed fusion applications into the…

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  • XJet to showcase automated and repeatable HD additive production

    XJet will present its portfolio of equipment for ceramic and metal end-to-end additive manufacturing at Formnext 2021, featuring the European debut of the SMART station. Furthering the industrialization of ceramic AM, the company will demonstrate how manufacturers can achieve automated, repeatable production of high-definition AM parts using XJet NanoParticle Jetting…

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  • An additive strategy to rebuild the industrial base in Europe

    With previous experiences in BMW, Porsche, MTU Aero Engines and Siemens AG (Power Generation Group), Prof. Michael Süß has seen the rise of additive manufacturing since the very beginning. Today, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oerlikon, he is leading the effort to establish the company’s role in…

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  • Using metal AM to mass produce nozzles for cookie production

    Bühler Meincke develops and manufactures machines for biscuit and cookie production worldwide, and their journey with 3D printing started when they needed some special geometries for cookie dough nozzles. Traditional manufacturing methods fell short, and therefore Bühler Meincke investigated the various possibilities. After first experimenting with plastic 3D printing, the…

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  • Powering up additive manufacturing for serial production

    About a year ago, Siemens took the next step in its structural realignment and Siemens Energy went public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as a leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power. As such, Siemens Energy is now one of the largest adopters and – via its fully-owned…

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  • PrinterPrezz acquires Vertex Manufacturing

    PrinterPrezz, Inc. and Vertex Manufacturing have completed the merger between the companies, both active in the advanced manufacturing sector and specifically in advancing and evolving the AM workflow. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is significant as it marks one of the first times that a…

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