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More and more additive manufacturing application possibilities are being recognized and used. In the last year alone, companies including Siemens, BASF, BMW, and Henkel have invested hundreds of millions of euros in the development of plants for the production of parts manufactured using additives.
The additive manufacturing market has grown sixfold since 2011. Total global sales in the sector grew to around USD 9 billion for the financial year 2018 – up 40 percent on the previous year. A further increase of 24 percent is expected for the financial year 2019.
According to Ernst & Young's 3D Printing Report, 16 percent of all German companies surveyed in 2019 already used 3D printing to manufacture end products. By 2022, the share is expected to be 49 percent. Some 63 percent of German companies currently have experience with 3D printing, compared to just 37 percent in 2016
Additive manufacturing is most widely used in the aviation, consumer goods and chemical industries. All companies in these sectors currently plan to deploy 3D printing technologies in the future, with three out of four companies already using 3D printing processes.
Companies are currently relying primarily on their own solutions: 40 percent of companies surveyed have their own machinery for 3D printing in-house, with 26 percent making use of external providers. This picture is likely to continue in the future: More than every second company (56 percent) expects to manufacture 3D printing products in-house in the future – only 32 percent want to purchase them from external service providers.
Seventy-two percent of companies with 3D printing experience use polymers in their applications. Almost one in two companies with user experience make use of metals. Metal 3D printing is set to become even more important in the future – 65 percent of all companies surveyed would like to see metal become the most important 3D printing working material.You can find this fragment in the following contexts: