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].

  • Responsible AM, an incredible opportunity

    Sustainability, along with CSR policies, has become something of a constant in additive manufacturing over the past few years. Most AM companies see themselves as driving a revolution in the way the world makes everything and it makes logical sense that this revolution should be guided by some of the…

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  • 3D printing sustainable

    AM for sustainability: 3D printing a better tomorrow

    Sustainability has been a major trending topic in AM recently. When manufacturing professionals from diversified industrial segments began to understand the possible uses of AM in mass production, using AM for sustainability was indicated as one of the key drivers for this transition. How real is this concept? Is it…

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  • Desktop Metal DoD cobalt-free hardmetal

    Desktop Metal to lay off 160 staff, WSJ reports

    According to a story that we first saw on MarketWatch, authored by WSJ journalist Will Feuer, production AM hardware manufacturer Desktop Metal will lay off 160 staff, which is about 12% of its current workforce, as it seeks to control costs after a string of acquisitions last year. While Desktop Metal…

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  • The UK additive manufacturing scene rediscovers itself at TCT 3Sixty

    The UK is a large core market for 3D printing, one of the first 3 in EMEA, behind Germany. It’s just not clear what kind of market it is. Is it industrial or consumer-driven? Is it more of a design or a production AM market? When the UK was part…

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  • Optomec delivers its 600th industrial additive manufacturing printer. More than 250 LENS Systems, and more than 350 Aerosol Jet Systems.

    Optomec delivers its 600th industrial AM system

    Optomec has reached another important milestone in its continued growth, with the delivery of its 600th industrial 3D printer. The company has now installed more than 250 of its proprietary LENS Systems, for 3D printed metal, and over 350 of its patented Aerosol Jet Systems, with the majority of its…

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  • 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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