Additive manufacturing in aerospace is growing

Published on December 6, 2018 by Michelle J.
aerospace additive manufacturing

Research and Markets recently published a study of the additive manufacturing market applied to the aerospace sector; the consulting firm announces a growth rate of 23.01% between 2017 and 2021. A forecast that shows the full potential of 3D technologies in the aerospace sector as well as many other possible applications today.

Additive manufacturing in aerospace have been happening for some time now with many applications. Covering everything from the creation of aircraft or helicopter parts, making lighter and more efficient engines, 3D printed turbines etc. 3D technologies generally save on time, money and create stronger, more efficient finished products. The Research and Markets study confirms this idea. In terms of additive manufacturing disrupting aerospace and it being widely praised by many players as they announce the possible growth rate of 23.01% between 2017 and 2021.

aerospace additive manufacturing

3D printed parts by EOS for MTU Aero Engines

The aerospace sector should combine additive manufacturing and traditional methods

The report have been produced with the help of several industry experts. It covers the entire market and its growth prospects over the next few years. One of the trends revealed by this report indicates that the market should increasingly combine additive manufacturing and traditional manufacturing. 3D printing would be more involved in the product development phase by providing the ability to create functional prototypes or molds in a faster and more cost effective manner.

According to the report, the aerospace sector would mainly use additive manufacturing to improve the performance of a part and reduce its weight. 3D technologies would offer more freedom in the design of parts that can be more complex while remaining efficient. They would also facilitate the integration of parts, removing some design and production constraints.

Current challenges with additive manufacturing in aerospace

The report goes on to explain that one of the challenges of the market is the restriction of the volume of construction and the size of the product. An aircraft is made up of very large components and additive manufacturing is today limited to the volume offered by the 3D printer. Most technologies offer solutions with limited print volume, making 3D printing applicable only to small components. So we still have this constraint that could slow down the growth of the market. Even if so today’s 3D technologies have already made it possible to create fairly large pieces. An example is the fuselage panel created by STELIA Aerospace. As well as companies such as GE, that’s already working on expanding the size restraints step by step

aerospace additive manufacturing

Parts for Airbus, 3D printed by GE

Finally, the report provides an overview of the main players in the aerospace market. These includes Arcam, Arconic, EOS, GKN and Stratasys. Other companies like 3D Systems or Concept Laser are increasingly interested in aerospace additive manufacturing and may well become experts in the industry. Find the whole of the study on the official website of Research and Markets.

Can manufacturing revolutionise the aerospace industry? Let us know what you think in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter, with all the latest news in 3D printing delivered straight to your inbox!

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