Trends 2022

The pandemic has accelerated trends that were already strongly underway: automation, digitization, while also introducing more urgency toward some other ones—such as supply chain resiliency, on-demand short batch production, re-localization—that were also in the works. If 2020 brought on new challenges and disruption, in 2021 AM companies began to address them. The AM trends for 2022 will likely see the first results of these efforts.

AM is used to dealing with challenges. The global COVID pandemic, a dramatic crisis that crippled and destroyed entire businesses (not to speak of the terrible human toll) has been dealt with by the AM community just like any other challenge. This terrible disease is not going to let up easily and the world will likely have to deal with its effects through the next decade. In this month’s AM Focus on AM Trends 2022 we will show how AM has proven it is capable of offering a resilient solution to dealing with the pandemic rather than be a victim of its effects.

Metal AM suffered more than polymer AM during the past two pandemic-plagued years. The reason is easy to see: until 2019, one segment alone was driving most metal AM investments: aviation. The dramatic hit to the air travel industry slowed down those investments significantly. The segments that are expected to replace aviation as key AM adopters (space & defense, energy, maritime and automotive) are either not large enough or still not quite ready to do so, for different reasons (for example that scalable metal binder jetting solutions are still hard to find or that large-format DED technologies are still largely experimental). That said, metal AM is here to stay, and while the traditional market leaders (EOS, 3D Systems, GE and SLM Solutions) are consolidating their businesses, many younger companies and startups are intensifying their investments, expanding their reach and contributing to evolving the metal AM market overall.

Scroll down for the latest AM Trends 2022 news [updating].

  • 9T Labs expands markets, staffing and anticipates same in 2022

    Despite supply chain disruptions and other pandemic challenges, 3D printing solution provider OEM 9T Labs AG saw massive interest in its hybrid system for printing and molding structural carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTP) expand during the past year. In response, the company hired more staff, which led to more systems…

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  • Something is 3D printed in the state of Denmark

    3D printing has never been implemented so extensively as in 2021, when several Danish production companies combined the printing technology with the use of green power and, in particular, experienced the technology’s sustainable potential. According to the latest AM Report 2022, the use of additive manufacturing / industrial 3D printing…

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  • HP: “2022 will stimulate innovation in digital manufacturing”

    The past several years have been an inflection point for the industry, we’ve had many learnings and are seeing a number of trends emerge and accelerate, as the world operates in an entirely new environment. Often times of crisis can stimulate innovation and catalyze action. Interviewed on this topic by…

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  • Additive manufacturing trends 2022

    With its roots dating back to the 1980s, the additive manufacturing industry is continually transforming and evolving. And now, as we enter 2022, some 40 years on from the beginnings of 3D printing, we are starting to have a clearer picture of what the long-term future of the industry will…

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  • Formlabs AM 2022

    Formlabs on its achievements and expectations for 2022

    In 2021, Formlabs celebrated the 10th anniversary since its founding date, giving it and us the opportunity to look back at the company’s trajectory from MIT spin-out and crowdfunding campaign to globally recognized 3D printing company. Today, Formlabs is among the leading providers of SLA-based systems—with an install base of…

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  • McKinsey & Company AM 2022

    McKinsey & Company, a guide on the AM adoption journey

    As we look to a new year, it seems appropriate to think about the current state of the additive manufacturing industry, where it is headed and what future trends are on the horizon. And who better to speak to on such matters than global consulting firm McKinsey & Company. With…

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  • 20+ Chinese 3D printing companies you’ll need to know in 2022

    Obtaining information and interacting with Chinese 3D printing companies is no easy task. The way we do business and the way we communicate in most Western countries are often so different and the language barrier does not help. However, that is also what makes Chinese 3D printing companies so interesting…

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  • Hubs releases new 2021 Supply Chain Resilience Report

    According to the Supply Chain Resilience Report 2021 from Hubs, a pioneer in distributed manufacturing, 56% of businesses experienced more supply chain disruptions this year than last year. The past year has been marked by a number of challenges, including computer chip shortages, port congestion, the ongoing impacts of COVID-19,…

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  • ESA looks to build new home in space with off-Earth manufacturing

    Activities are set to intensify in 2022, as we get closer to the date (2024) that ESA and NASA have planned for humanity’s return to the Moon. The ESA Discovery program has been supporting groups from industry and academia to develop technologies for off-Earth manufacturing. Last November, a public online symposium…

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  • The rise of the 4D bioprinting industry

    When I first heard of 4D, I thought it was nothing more than a marketing gimmick. I was starting to feel like we were staring down the barrel of a gun and avoiding the rabbit holes of the current need for improved realistic applications with limited technological complexity. It seemed…

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