The AM news: A look at trends in additive manufacturing


In the push to “Make America Great Again,” additive manufacturing is poised to play an increasingly larger role. A recent press release from International Data Corporation (IDC) projected global spending on 3D printing (including hardware, materials, software, and services) to reach nearly $12bn in 2018, representing an increase of 19.9% over 2017.

With a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5%, IDC sees this market jumping to nearly $20bn by 2021, with $6.7bn of that total being spent on materials. In the next year alone, the 3D printed metals portion of the total market will triple in value to over $1bn, according to IDC.

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, refers to the process of building a component layer by layer. In the US, California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a leader in additive manufacturing research and development. LLNL lists five key ways that AM is revolutionizing manufacturing by:

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