Opportunities For Additive Manufacturing In Aerospace 2017 – Civil Aviation: An Opportunity Analysis And Ten-year Forecast

Report # SMP-AM-AERO2017-0517
Published May 13, 2017

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Manufacturing of civil aircraft – that is planes for commercial and general aviation – has already emerged as the first industry sector where 3D printing is an established manufacturing modality. We continue to see important new opportunities emerge in this area in both metal AM and the polymer AM (metal replacement and composite).  This report identifies and quantifies the business potential of these new trends in additive manufacturing in aerospace.  The report includes:

  • Detailed ten-year forecasts of the revenue generation potential for additive manufacturing in the civil aviation sector.  These forecasts are presented in both volume and value ($ Millions) terms and cover printer shipments and install base, revenues from specialist aerospace service bureaus, aerospace-related AM software, and materials (metals, polymers and composites).
  • A strategic assessment of the leading firms supplying the “additive aerospace” sector.  In this assessment, we also take into consideration the commercial impact of the rapidly growing number of companies that are targeting aerospace firms as potential customers.
  • An analysis of how this segment of the aerospace industry is changing its strategies and adoption patterns for metal AM and is exploiting the increases in speed, part size and process automation that have occurred in the last few years.
  • A discussion of how the absence an appropriate software infrastructure for “additive aerospace” was impacting the market and how significant investments made in this area are going to lead to a much more rapid adoption of the technology. Here there appears to be an opportunity to market new software packages to fully support all phases the AM process, from CAD to PLM to enterprise infrastructure.”

The aerospace segment has seen larger than ever before investments in AM hardware and materials and these trends continue to indicate that the market for AM in commercial and general aviation is still only at the very beginning of its potential growth curve.

This report is based on extensive interviews in the “additive aerospace” sector as well as on SmarTech’s extensive database of information and proprietary market forecasts in this space.  The report will be highly valuable to marketing, business development and production executives at 3D printer makers, AM material companies, specialist service bureau, as well as within the aerospace industry itself.


Chapter One: Latest Trends in Adoption of AM for Aerospace Part Production 
1.1 Investments and Number of Stakeholders in “Additive Aerospace” Increasing
1.2 Established Benefits of AM in Part Design Complemented by Cost-Efficient Production
1.3 Geographic Considerations Shaping AM for Commercial and General Aviation
1.4 Software Improvements Leading to More Use of AM in Non-Military Aerospace
1.4.1 Advancements in Supply Chain and PLM Software
1.5 AM Factories/Specialist Service Bureaus Alleviate Supply Chain Pressure
1.6 Material Factors: Polymers and Composites Put Pressure on Use of Metals
1.7 Competitive Implications Resulting from Adoption of AM in Commercial Aerospace
1.8 The Six Most Influential Firms in AM for Commercial and General Aviation
1.8.1 GE (Concept Laser, Arcam)
1.8.2 Airbus
1.8.3 Stratasys
1.8.4 Siemens and Materialise
1.8.5 EOS and SLM Solutions
1.8.6 DMG Mori and Trumpf
1.9 Forecasting in this Report
1.9.1 Summary of Ten-Year Forecast for AM in Civil Aviation
1.10 Key Points from this Chapter
Chapter Two: Progress in Integrating AM into the General and Commercial Aviation Industry 
2.1 Further Reduction in Lead Time through Direct Design-to-Production Workflow
2.1.1 3D Scanning in the Aviation Industry
2.2 Commercial Aviation Industry to Benefit from Focus on AM from General Aviation
2.2.1 For Production of Non-Safety-Critical Components
2.2.2 For Production of Safety-Critical Engine Components
2.3 The Critical Role of Software for Implementation of AM in Civil Aviation
2.4 Implementing Generative Design Tools for AM of Commercial Aviation Components
2.4.1 Current Evolution of Topology Optimization and Trabecular/Lattice Structures for AM Parts
2.5 Developments in Qualifying 3D-Printed Flight-Critical Parts
2.5.1 Part Qualification Requirements
2.5.2 Test Types
2.5.3 New Non-destructive Evaluation Methods for 3D Printed Parts
2.5.4 Post Printing Treatment Providing a Short-Term Solution
2.5.5 Standards and Certifications
2.5.6 Developing Standards for Additive Manufacturing
2.6 Regulations
2.6.1 Europe (EASA)
2.6.2 U.S. (FAA/AMNT)
2.7 Environmental Objectives
2.8 Key Points from this Chapter
Chapter Three: Evolution of AM Processes for Production in the Aviation Industry 
3.1 Polymer Material Extrusion
3.2 Polymer Powder Bed Fusion (PBF)
3.2.1 PBF of Composite Materials for Civil Aviation
3.3 Evolution of Metal Powder Bed Fusion
3.3.1 Evolution of Metal PBF Systems for Civil Aviation
3.4 Evolution of Directed Energy Deposition Technologies
3.4.1 Evolution of DED System Manufacturers and Systems
3.5 3D Printing Technologies for Tooling and Prototyping Used in Civil Aviation
3.5.1 FDM for Composite Tooling
3.5.2 Photopolymerization
3.5.3 Binder Jetting
3.6 Ten-Year Forecast for Additive Manufacturing Hardware in Civil Aviation
3.6.1 Ten-Year Forecast for Polymer AM Hardware in Civil Aviation
3.6.2 Ten-Year Forecast for Metal AM Hardware in Civil Aviation
3.7 Role of Service Bureaus
3.7.1 Materialise
3.7.2 Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
3.7.3 Proto Labs
3.7.4 3D Systems On Demand Manufacturing
3.7.5 Sculpteo
3.8 Additive Aerospace Factories
3.8.1 Europe
3.8.2 North America
3.9 Ten-Year Forecast for 3D Printing Service Bureaus in Civil Aviation
3.10 Ten-Year Forecast for AM Software Revenues
3.11 Key Points from this Chapter
Chapter Four: Market Opportunities for AM Materials for Commercial and General Aviation 
4.1 Metal AM Moving Beyond Aircraft Engines
4.1.1 Turbine Blades
4.1.2 Fuel Nozzles
4.1.3 Airframes and Major Structural Components
4.1.4 Other Safety-Critical Parts
4.1.5 Non-Safety-Critical Parts
4.2 Polymer Opportunities Evolving as Transition to Manufacturing Continues
4.2.1 Rise of Composite Materials and Technologies for Large Aircraft Parts
4.3 Polymer and Composites Applications in Flight Parts and Production
4.3.1 Tools
4.3.2 Environmental Control Systems
4.3.3 Cabin Components
4.4 Ten-Year Forecast of Materials Used in Commercial and General Aviation
4.4.1 Summary of Ten-Year Metals Forecast
4.4.2 Summary of Ten-Year Polymer Forecast
4.5 Key Points from This Chapter
A.1 Manufacturers of AM Hardware Used in Civil Aviation Manufacturing
A.2 Leading Software Companies Influencing Civil Aviation AM Production
A.3 Relevant 3D Printing Material Vendors Influencing Civil Aviation
A.4 Influential Aerospace Companies Advancing 3D Print Technology
A.5 Relevant System Agnostic 3D Printing Service Providers in Civil Aviation
About the Analyst
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report 

List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1-1: Forecasted Aircraft Deliveries for Commercial Aviation
Exhibit 1-2a: AM HW Sales in $USM for Civil Aviation by Geographic Region
Exhibit 1-2b: AM Materials Sales in Civil Aviation in $USM 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 1-3: Composite components in an Airbus A380 Aircraft
Exhibit 1-4: Total Market for AM in Civil Aviation in $USM (2016 – 2027)
Exhibit 1-5: Total Revenues from AM Services in Civil Aviation in $USM (2016-2027)
Exhibit 1-6: Total Market for AM Hardware and Materials in Civil Aviation in $USM (2016 – 2027)
Exhibit 1-7: Visual Comparison of AM Hardware and Materials Revenues Vs Overall AM Revenues in Civil Aviation 2016 Vs 2027 ($US Millions)
Exhibit 1-8: Total AM Hardware and Materials in Civil Aviation Market Revenue Share by Product Segment 2016
Exhibit 1-9: Total AM Hardware Revenues in Civil Aviation 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 1-10: Total AM Materials Sales in $USM for Civil Aviation  2016 - 2027
Exhibit 1-11: Total Market for Metal AM in Civil Aviation in $USM  2016 - 2027
Exhibit 1-12: Total Market for Polymer AM in Civil Aviation in $USM 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 2-1: Example of a Basic Topology Optimization Application
Exhibit 2-2: Airbus’ Stepwise Approach to Technology Introduction
Exhibit 2-3: Current Aerospace Metal AM Workflow Illustration
Exhibit 2-4: Current ISO/ASTM Standards for AM
Exhibit 2-5: Guidelines for Metal AM Part Certification
Exhibit 3-1: Leading AM Technologies Used in Civil Aviation Part Production
Exhibit 3-2: Opportunities for Polymer Powder Bed Fusion in Commercial Aerospace Manufacturing
Exhibit 3-3: Evolution of Recently Identified Key Trends in Metal Powder Bed Fusion Systems
Exhibit 3-4: Maximum Capabilities of Leading Metal PBF Hardware Systems Used in Civil Aviation Part Production
Exhibit 3-5: Opportunities for Directed Energy Deposition in Civil Aviation Manufacturing
Exhibit 3-6: Largest DED Systems Available on the Market Today from Leading Vendors
Exhibit 3-7: Polymer AM Systems Demand by Units Sold in Civil Aviation Manufacturing 2016-2027
Exhibit 3-8: Composite AM Systems Demand by Units Sold in Civil Aviation 2016-2027
Exhibit 3-9: Polymer AM Systems Sales in Civil Aviation in $USM 2016- 2027
Exhibit 3-10: Metal AM Hardware Systems Demand in Civil Aviation  2016-2027
Exhibit 3-11: Metal AM Hardware Sales in Civil Aviation 2016-2027
Exhibit 3-12: Revenues from Polymer AM Service Bureaus by Application Type in $USM (2016 – 2027)
Exhibit 3-13: Revenues from Metal AM Service Bureaus by Application Type in $USM (2016 – 2027)
Exhibit 3-14: Trends for AM Service Bureau Revenues by Application Type (2016-2027)
Exhibit 3-15a: Total AM Services Revenues in Civil Aviation 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 3-15b: Total AM Services Unit Parts Production in Civil Aviation 2016 – 2027
Exhibit 3-16: Polymer Based Unit Part Production for Civil Aviation at AM Service Bureaus 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 3-17: Metal Based Unit Part Production for Civil Aviation at AM Service Bureaus 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 3-18: AM Software Revenues for General and Commercial Aviation Applications 2016 - 2027
Exhibit 4-1: Potential Evolution of AM for Part Production in Civil Aviation
Exhibit 4-2: Primary Concerns Relating to Adopting AM Technologies In Civil Aviation Manufacturing
Exhibit 4-3: Evolution in Polymer 3D Printing Applications in Aerospace
Exhibit 4-4: AM Materials Revenues in Civil Aviation in $USM 2016-2027 by Material Type
Exhibit 4-5: Demand of Metal AM Powder Materials by Material Type in Kg (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-6: Sales of Metal AM Powder Materials by Material Type in $USM (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-7: Demand for Extrusion Thermoplastic Materials by Material Type in Kg (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-8: Sales of Extrusion Thermoplastic Materials by Material Type in $USM (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-9: Demand for Polymer AM Powder Materials by Material Type in Kg (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-10: Sales of Polymer AM Powder Materials by Material Type in $USM (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-11: Demand for Photopolymer Materials by Process Type in Kg (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-12: Sales of Photopolymer Materials by Process Type in $USM (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-13: Demand for Non-metallic Binder Jetting Materials by Material Type in Kg (2016-2027)
Exhibit 4-14: Sales of Non-metallic Binder Jetting AM Materials by Material Type in $USM (2016-2027)

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