A new report titled, “Additive Manufacturing for Space Industry Applications: from Earth to Orbit and Beyond”. projects that the yearly value of space industry AM parts will reach $4.7 billion, driving nearly $1 billion in yearly sales of AM equipment, software and materials. Members of the press can receive an executive summary and schedule an interview with the report’s author, Davide Sher.
This report quantifies the projected value of additive manufactured parts and identifies the most commercially important technologies, materials and applications for 3D printing of space borne parts. It includes ten-year forecasts of the materials, hardware, software and AM service, both in terms of demand and revenues. Granular geographic nation-specific and part type-specific information complete this first-ever analysis of AM in the booming industry for manufacturing of satellites, launch vehicles, and spacecraft. The Space AM also provides information on which companies and institutions in the space infrastructure industry are using additive manufacturing today, with relevant case studies. The report was compiled after extensive research and interviewing of key industry executives.
Key firms in the space AM segment include: 3D Systems, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Airbus, Arcam, ATOS, Bigelow Aerospace, Boeing, Concept Laser, CRP Group, ExOne, Hexcel, Lockheed Martin, Made in Space, Materialise, Nano Dimension, Optomec, Orbital ATK, Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), Safran, Sciaky, SLM Solutions, Space Systems Loral (SSL), Space X, Thales Alenia Space and Trumpf.
The report includes an in-depth analysis of the material used for space AM applications, which takes into consideration both high-performance polymers and metals as well as composites, ceramics and technologies for direct 3D printing of electronics.
The overall value of additive manufacturing segments for the space industry was worth $117 million in 2016 and that it is expected to grow to $872 million by the end of the forecast period. This analysis is based on the fact that additive manufacturing provides the most effective tool to optimize weight in systems built to reach space. This is true both for launch vehicles and – until the time when resources are gathered in space – for space-borne systems and devices.
AM is expected to grow to represent 1.78% of the total yearly value of space infrastructure manufacturing at the end of the forecast period, for a global turnover of $4.7 billion derived from the value of additively manufactured parts alone. This will bring the total market segment value by 2027 to $5.5 billion USD.
The renewed interest in low-cost satellites, some of which are small enough to be held on one hand, is prompting a range of start-ups and providing new accessibility to space by educational institutions, small businesses, and individual researchers. This trend favors the adoption of AM technologies to reduce costs. Spacecraft and rocket parts will represent the largest opportunity segments due to the generally much higher cost of the parts and systems involved. While satellites today represent the area where AM has been used most intensively, the emergence of constellation systems ensure it will continue to grow in the near- and medium-term future