Additive Manufacturing Opportunities in the Aerospace Industry: A Ten-Year Forecast

  • ID: 2760110
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • SmarTech Markets Publishing LLC
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  • 3D Systems
  • Boeing
  • DSM
  • GE Aviation
  • Lockheed Martin
  • RTI International Metals
  • MORE
The aerospace is regularly discussed as one of the largest opportunities for additive manufacturing (AM) over the next decade. These discussions point to the sizeable demand in the aerospace industry for high-value, metal parts that are as complex as they are compact. This demand creates large opportunities to design, produce, and supply parts manufactured with AM processes to an industry with fat pockets.

The aerospace industry exhibits a number of characteristics that have 3D entrepreneurs licking their chops. AM has the potential to improve supply chain paradigms, minimize replacement part inventories, and streamline production processes. In fact, many AM companies recognize these opportunities and are racing to provide products that can serve latent demand in the aerospace industry.

This report identifies the profitable opportunities of AM applications in aerospace industry. More than merely speculating on what AM can do in the aerospace industry, this report focuses down on exactly where and how AM will be implemented in the aerospace industry supply chain and business activities. Readers of the report will gain an in-depth understanding of what AM means to the aerospace industry, as well as a comprehensive framework for understanding new developments in the industry.

Each chapter of the report breaks down one of the three specific sectors of the aerospace industry that will be affected by AM over the next ten years: commercial aviation, military aircraft, and spacecraft. Each chapter provides critical analysis through an exploration of the processes, software, materials, services, and major players active in the industry. This report also provides the reader with a clear understanding of technological progress, market size, time to market, and associated risks for the multi-million dollar opportunities for AM in aerospace.

This report also analyzes the largest AM equipment manufacturers likely to supply the industry. Product portfolios are strategically analyzed to offer insight on how the specific technologies behind AM systems will affect their adoption in the aerospace industry.

This report contains ten years forecasts on AM equipment, materials, software, services, and opportunities in the aerospace sector. These forecasts are collected from an exhaustive number of interviews conducted with professionals in the aerospace and AM industries. Detailed forecasts allow business executives to stand on solid ground when crafting strategy, as well as confirm internally generated numbers with a reputable outside source.

This report will provide invaluable guidance for material, software, and equipment manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry, 3D printing industry, and other related sectors. We also think that this report will be required reading for investors examining aerospace industry opportunities.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • 3D Systems
  • Boeing
  • DSM
  • GE Aviation
  • Lockheed Martin
  • RTI International Metals
  • MORE
Chapter One: Intro
1.1 Background
1.2 Opportunities In The Aerospace Industry
1.3 Scope of This Report
1.4 Methodology of This Report
1.5 Plan of This Report

Chapter Two: Current Applications for Additive Manufacturing in Commercial Aviation
2.1 Viable Substitutes For Complex Sub-Assemblies
2.1.1 Tier-Two Contracting Applications
2.1.2 Tier-Three Contracting Applications
2.2 Weight Reduction In Cabin Parts
2.2.1 Re-Tooling The Existing Commercial Fleet
2.2.2 Taking Advantage of CAD/CAM Design
2.3 Ameliorating The Supply Chain For Replacement Parts
2.3.1 Interfacing with the Open Aerospace Exchange
2.4 Super Plastics As A Substitute For Small Metal Parts
2.5 Functional Prototypes As A Competitive Advantage
2.5.1 The Benefits of 3D Printing Clusters
2.5.2 Assembling The Correct Portfolio of 3D Printers
2.6 Next Level Integration AM-enabled Designs Into Airplane Designs
2.7 Coping With Exacting Materials and Part Performance Requirements
2.7.1 Progress in Materials Qualification
2.7.2 New Innovations In Material Qualifications, Standards, and Regulation
2.7.3 Test Equipment and Services

Chapter Three: Additive Manufacturing in Military Applications
3.1 Streamlining Development and Cycles and Combating Technological Crawl
3.1.1 CAD/CAM Enables New Coordination And Collaboration
3.2 Low-Volume Manufacturing Could Usher In New Production Paradigms
3.2.1 The Last Generation of Combat Fighter: The Ever-Evolving Design
3.3 Specific Applications in Military
3.3.1 Fighter Aircraft
3.3.2 Transport Aircraft
3.3.3 Helicopters
3.3.4 Drones
3.4 AM In Combat Settings

Chapter Four: Current Applications for Additive Manufacturing (AM) in Space Industry
4.1 One-off Parts And Their Drag On The Economics of Space Travel
4.2 Functional Prototyping Reduces Development Times
4.3 Materials Cleared For Use In Space
4.4 3D Printers In Space

Chapter Five: Analysis of Key AM Equipment Manufacturers
5.1 3D Systems
5.2 Ex-One
5.3 GE
5.4 Arcam
5.5 Concept Laser
5.6 EOS
5.7 Renishaw
5.8 SLM Solutions
5.9 Trumpf
5.10 Sciaki
5.11 DM3D Technologies
5.12 Stratsys
5.13 Voxeljet
5.14 EnvisionTEC

Chapter Six: Ten-Year Forecasts For 3D Printing In Aerospace
6.1 Equipment
6.2 Materials
6.3 Software
6.4 Services
6.4.1 Market For Complex Sub-Assemblies
6.4.2 Market For Replacement Parts
6.4.3 Market For Functional Prototypes
6.4.4 Market For Super Plastic Applications

About the Author

Acronyms Used in Report
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4 of 6


  • 3D Systems
  • Boeing
  • DSM
  • GE Aviation
  • Lockheed Martin
  • RTI International Metals
  • MORE
This new report says that sales to the aerospace industry of additive manufacturing (AM) equipment and associated software, services and materials will reach $805 million in 2019 going on to reach $1.2 billion by 2023.

According to the new author report – Additive Manufacturing Opportunities in the Aerospace Industry: A Ten-Year Forecast – aerospace is the second largest industry sector served by AM currently (after dental/medical). AM prototyping solutions have been part of aircraft manufacturing since the 1980s. In future AM will enable aerospace firms to reduce labor costs, minimize manual assembly, and reduce the weight of aircraft.

About the Report:

This new report covers AM opportunities in the commercial aviation, military aerospace, and space sectors. It analyzes how AM creates value in these sectors through prototyping, reduction of complex sub-assemblies, weight reduction, supply chain improvements, and use of improved materials.

The report also includes a detailed ten-year forecast covering SLS, SL/SLA, DMLS, DED and FDM machines, along with related software and materials (titanium, nickel, thermoplastics and epoxy acrylates). In its forecasts, SmarTech adopted a two-pronged methodology. It built projections from the bottom up, starting with current equipment sales. The author then also constructs a top-down forecast, based on funding available for AM in aerospace. SmarTech believes that the convergence of these two separate forecasts will provide additional confidence in our projections for aerospace AM.

The report both provides an strategic analysis of leading players in aerospace-related AM and includes real world examples of where AM is already making large contributions to the aerospace industry’s bottom line.

Companies discussed in this report include 3D Systems, Airbus, Arcam, BAE Systems, Boeing, Concept Laser, DSM, EOS, GE Aviation, CRP, Direct Manufacturing, EnvisionTEC, Ex-One, Honeywell, Kelly Manufacturing, Lithoz, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Optomec, Oxford Performance Materials, Rolls-Royce, RTI International Metals, Sciaki, SLM Solutions, Stratasys, Trumpf and Within Technologies

From the Report:

Metal powder bed systems account for much of the opportunity for AM in aerospace. Indeed by 2019, revenues from powder bed equipment alone will be more than $305 million and this figure is expected to grow to $485 million in 2023. SmarTech believes that the use of powder bed equipment can further the use of titanium and nickel materials in commercial aircraft. It also notes that the latest powder bed systems are becoming more robust industrial machines that can handle more types of materials and different types of energy source and so are better suited than ever before to the aerospace manufacturing environment.

This report also emphasizes that AM can lead to substantial weight reductions; a priority in the manufacturing of commercial aviation since the gas price hikes of 2004. Case studies have shown that AM can result in 50-70% weight reduction in select parts, creating a strong incentive for AM to be used in aerospace manufacturing. For example, AM manufactured high-grade thermoplastic can be substituted for aluminum structural components that make up, for example, 20 percent of the new Boeing 787. These new thermoplastics exhibit comparable properties to milled aluminum but at only half the weight.

It is also estimated that AM manufacturing of some parts in an airplane could reduce aircraft manufacturers material consumption by 75%. Because of the cost effectiveness of AM, SmarTech expects AM materials sales to grow to about $150 million by 2019.

Meanwhile, current AM machines are best equipped to handle metal part orders of 1,000 or less, but this number is increasing. However, the report warns that the adoption of AM technology in the aerospace industry will be slowed down by the fact that before actually using AM, aerospace manufacturers must incur the costs of design and testing.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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- 3D Systems
- Airbus
- Arcam
- BAE Systems
- Boeing
- Concept Laser
- GE Aviation
- Direct Manufacturing
- EnvisionTEC
- Ex-One
- Honeywell
- Kelly Manufacturing
- Lithoz
- Lockheed Martin
- Northrup Grumman
- Optomec
- Oxford Performance Materials
- Rolls-Royce
- RTI International Metals
- Sciaki
- SLM Solutions
- Stratasys
- Trumpf
- Within Technologies
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown