A new report on the ceramics additive manufacturing market, Ceramics Additive Manufacturing 2020, is forecasting that additive manufacturing of technical ceramics can grow into a $3.1 billion overall market segment by 2030, including all hardware, materials and associated part revenues (or revenue equivalent). The overall ceramics market, including all traditional ceramic (sand and cement) related revenues, could top 4.8 billion by the same year.
Current significant disruptions due to Covid-19 is expected to have a significant yet limited effect which will bring most ceramic AM subsegments to begin growing again at the end of 2021 and realign with previous growth forecasts by 2024. The current forecasted timeline sees ceramics AM adoption experience an inflection point after 2025 as all major AM technologies that support ceramics final part production reach maturity and enjoy a strong enough presence in the market to support serial production.
3DCeram-Sinto and Lithoz are highlighted as the current ceramics AM market and technology leaders, with ceramic stereolithography emerging as the primary currently available process for ceramics serial part production. Other relevant entities include ExOne and voxeljet for binder jetting of both traditional and technical ceramics as well as XJet and Nanoe either consolidating or emerging in ceramics nanoparticle 3D printing. SGL Carbon and Schunck Carbon Technologies are highlighted as the current leaders in the newly introduced segment of silicon carbide 3D printing.
Ceramics additive manufacturing 2020 and COVID-19
In order to assess the impact from COVID-19 on the ceramics AM market, the report takes into consideration a number of variables and elaborates an additional model to account for the impact that slowed down global economies are going to have in a period estimated to last from now through 2025. We have established two levels of impact. Some segments are going to be affected more significantly in the short term. Other segments such are expected to be affected less significantly and realign to previously forecasted level by 2024.
The ceramics AM applications market is expected to triple in size after the inflection point that is expected to occur in 2025. By this date the market is expected to have fully recuperated from COVID-19 related economic slowdown and ceramics manufacturing companies are expected to reap benefits from investments made in hardware and materials developed over the previous ten-year period.
The response to the COVID-19 crisis in different areas of the world is going to have a significant impact on the overall geographic distribution of revenues, with the APAC region emerging as the winner for implementing more efficient methods of managing business and manufacturing during the ongoing epidemic. APAC area nations, China and Japan in particular, are already adopting ceramic AM technologies for production at a faster rate than most European and American nations.
Ceramics additive manufacturing 2020 highlights
Stereolithography remains the most widely adopted technology today for 3D printing of technical ceramics. The Market leaders in this field, Austria-based Lithoz and France- based 3DCeram, present different technologies and follow different business models. In 2019, both companies have presented systems and workflows tailored specifically for serial part production.
For the first time, a new approach to CIM (ceramics injection molding) based ceramics AM is included in the forecasts focusing on bound ceramic filaments. These are thermoplastic filaments containing ceramic powder in various forms. They can be processed using an open standard thermoplastic filament extrusion 3D printer in order to produce green parts that can undergo de-binding and sintering post processes. These materials have been introduced by at least three firms over the past two years.
In terms of market adoption, the report identifies and forecasts market performance by three different types of firms offering ceramic 3D printing services. The first type is intended as an AM service division within an AM hardware manufacturer. Another is represented by external, specialized ceramic 3D printing service providers, and the third is ceramic parts manufacturers that have introduced 3D printing service capabilities. AM industry companies are expected to generate the most revenues for ceramic parts for the foreseeable future.