Increasing government initiatives to promote additive manufacturing technology is influencing the market growth. Additive Manufacturing Market size is forecast to reach $35,244.3 million by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 19.7% during 2021-2026.

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a groundbreaking process of manufacturing that allows for the production of lighter, stronger parts and systems. Additive manufacturing has many advantages over conventional manufacturing technologies including injection molding, CNC machining, and vacuum casting, including lower resource requirements, quicker production cycles, modular design, and significant tooling cost savings. As a result, its adoption is growing in a variety of end-use industries.

The increasing usage of additive manufacturing in various regions for the creation of lighter and more complex designs in the automotive and aerospace industry is projected to drive industry growth over the forecast period. Further, the governments of various countries are increasingly formulating a strategy to promote all sub-sectors within the additive manufacturing sector, including machines, materials, software, and design, shortly, this would further intensify the adoption of untapped potential market opportunities. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), through 2025, 84 percent of German manufacturers plan to invest EUR 10 billion (around the US $12.2 billion) per year into smart manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing. The National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing 2018-2025 in the United Kingdom aims to achieve £3,500 million (around the US $4.7 billion) GVA per year by 2025 and 60,000 jobs across sectors. For instance, in February 2021, America announced a new Rapid Innovation Call (RIC) with a total of $185,000 in funding from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division. The RIC is divided into three technical areas of additive manufacturing. Thus, it is anticipated that the increasing government initiatives and investments in the field of additive manufacturing/3D printing will accelerate the growth of the additive manufacturing market in the future.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several additive manufacturers across regions had to shut down their production facilities and services as countries adopted partial or absolute lockdown policies to deal with the pandemic. Also, some delays, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related contingencies, occurred in the production and manufacturing of automotive and aerospace components, which indirectly limited the demand for additive manufacturing. However, the demand for additive manufacturing was not much affected in the medical & healthcare sector as COVID-19 spread shortages of medical supplies impacted healthcare systems around the world, owing to which the demand for additive manufacturing increased during the pandemic. For instance, in September 2020, Dr. Ho Chaw Sing, managing director of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), requested Formlabs' and Eye-2-Eye Communications' help in developing a clinically tested, cost-effective 3D printed nasopharyngeal (NP) swab to avoid supply chain shortages. Thus, the demand for additive manufacturing (three-dimensional printing (3DP)), was unaffected to produce PPE and other medical supplies such as face shields, swabs, valves for respiratory machines, and more. Owing to such a great response of additive manufacturing in the covid-19 scenario, the demand for additive manufacturing is set to accelerate in the coming time. 3D Printing is penetrating manufacturing across every relevant business sector. Businesses and governments are reassessing their supply chain and implementing decisions that will drive increased demand for 3D printing as a strategic imperative purpose, leading to additional business opportunities. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic outlook of the additive manufacturing market in 2021 is set to gradually gain momentum.

North America holds a major share of the additive manufacturing market owing to the increasing research and investment in the field of additive manufacturing in North American regions such as Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In Canada, the rising partnership between research universities in the field of additive manufacturing is also influencing the growth of the market. For instance, in 2021, Researchers from the University of Waterloo's Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) collaborated to help Canadian businesses drive the adoption of metal additive manufacturing technologies. The collaboration is expected to last at least seven years. Furthermore, Mexican players are investing in R&D to supply continuous innovative products in the market. For instance, as per ASM International, in February 2021, Optomec in New Mexico launched the CS250 and the HC-TBR, 3D metal additive manufacturing machines. The systems are based on Directed Energy Deposition (DED), a powder-based 3D metal printing technology under the LENS trademark. Owing to this increasing research and investment, the market of additive manufacturing witnessed a massive growth in its demand in North American regions.

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Additive Manufacturing Market Growth Drivers:

Increasing Production of Light Commercial Vehicles

In the automotive sector, additive manufacturing is being used to create prototypes that enable the validation of engineering processes and, above all, functional and aesthetic component design processes. Additive manufacturing is used in the automotive industry to manufacture components such as fuel doors, floorboard mounts, fuel tanks, small engine components, heat exchangers, gearbox, and more. Automotive industries can customize car assembly equipment using additive technology to improve performance and reduce weight at a lower cost than conventional manufactured tools. There have also been instances where entirely new technologies have been created for highly customized projects. The ultimate goal of additive manufacturing is to reduce the weight of many automotive components. Not only does additive manufacturing minimize weight, but it also decreases waste and the vehicle's total production cost, making buying a new car or truck far more available and affordable for customers. Several governments all over the world have enacted strict vehicle emission and fuel efficiency standards. These standard regulations have compelled automotive OEMs and consumers to shift towards lightweight vehicles. In February 2020, Ford Motor Company entered into the advance of additive manufacturing into full-scale production. A production part for a lower-quantity vehicle, a bracket for the parking brake system of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is now being mass-produced through 3D printing. According to Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), the production of light commercial vehicles increased from 496671, 1348932, and 1995776 in 2018 to 524504, 1431904, and 2002284 in 2019, an increase of  5.6%, 6.2%, and 0.3% in Spain, Canada, and China respectively. This growth is highly attributed to the growing demand for lightweight vehicles from consumers. Thus, it is anticipated that with the increasing light commercial vehicle production the demand for lightweight automotive components will also increase, which will then drive the additive manufacturing market during the forecast period.

R&D Investment:

Researchers and companies are heavily investing in the research and development of additive manufacturing as it is a major disruptive technology that has the potential to change manufacturing activities across various industries. For instance, in March 2021, a German-Dutch consortium spanning industry and science is working to make the production of plastics more sustainable by developing and integrating 3D printed membranes into the production process. The Additive Manufacturing for Zero-emission Innovative Green Chemistry project aims to develop a membrane-based process to separate off by-products from the plastic production process and make them available for further use. In February 2021, Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ Samueli School of Engineering developed a novel two-pronged process to enhance the strength of hydrogels that could be used to create artificial tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. In February 2021, Scientists from Israel, China, and Singapore have developed a novel method of 3D printing hydrogels into other polymers to create complex hybrid microstructures. In February 2021, Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have repurposed a component from a Microsoft Xbox 360 to develop a high-resolution large-volume Nanoscale 3D printer with various applications in the medical sector. 

Major Players of Market Include

The major companies in the additive manufacturing market include Proto Labs Ltd., 3D Systems Inc., Stratasys Ltd., ExOne, Envision TEC, Materialise NV, Marforged, EOS GmbH, Ultimaker BV, and Titomic Limited. The key focus of the companies has shifted towards partnership and product launch.

In February 2021, in South Korea, ExOne has added ABC Corporation as a 3D printer distribution partner. This collaboration would assist in the introduction of cutting-edge technology into conventional foundry processes. In September 2019, Envision TEC and Henkel Loctite have settled on collaboration terms under which Henkel's materials expertise will be combined with Envision TEC's printer and application expertise. Envision TEC's new open access material program enabled the company to partner with Henkel to push additive manufacturing toward mass production of usable parts in a variety of industries.

In April 2020, Proto Labs Ltd. has begun 3D printing parts on the world's largest powder-bed metal additive device. Protolabs' manufacturing services now include the GE Additive Design Laser X Line 2000R unit. The DMLM (direct metal laser melting) system has a build volume of 31.5 in. x 15.7 in. x 19.7 in., which is incredibly high (800mm x 400mm x 500mm). In November 2019, Envision has introduced the first cDLM to the European market. The Envision One cDLM is without a doubt one of the fastest 3D printers on the market, with a Z-axis speed of up to 75 mm per hour for the entire build envelope.

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