LONDON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Technavio has announced the top five leading vendors in their recent global aerospace 3D printing market report. This research report also lists six other prominent vendors that are expected to impact the market during the forecast period.
“There are some hindrances, like stringent regulatory norms, that can prevent the mass adoption of 3D printing manufacturing technology into the widespread commercial aviation applications. Yet, the possibility of significant structural and competitive changes is expected to encourage the use of additive manufacturing during the forecast period”
Technavio expects that the global aerospace 3D printing market will depict a CAGR of 55.85%, reaching USD 660.94 million by 2020 from USD 71.89 million in 2015.
The growth of the global aerospace 3D printing market is primarily driven by the increasing global demand for lightweight parts and components that can substantiate the need for operating a fuel-efficient aircraft. Many manufacturing strategies are being adopted by OEMs and their component suppliers to reduce the overall weight of an aircraft. Therefore, there have been growing investments in the development of facilities that can support 3D printing manufacturing process.
Competitive vendor landscape
Although the global aerospace component manufacturing market is highly competitive with several prominent players competing to increase their market share, the aerospace 3D printing market remains consolidated by a few companies. However, there is an increasing possibility of change in the market share of key vendors as new entrants may offer a comprehensive array of components and subsystems using 3D printing manufacturing technology in a financially viable way.
“There are some hindrances, like stringent regulatory norms, that can prevent the mass adoption of 3D printing manufacturing technology into the widespread commercial aviation applications. Yet, the possibility of significant structural and competitive changes is expected to encourage the use of additive manufacturing during the forecast period,” says Avimanyu Basu, a lead aerospace components analyst from Technavio.
Aerospace OEMs like Airbus and Boeing, with relatively greater financial and technical resources, can bring substantial changes in the existing aerospace platform, which may help them realize the development costs in a shorter timeframe. Small companies can benefit from the joint development efforts and can potentially compete with existing prominent vendors. Mergers and acquisitions will play an important role in the enhancement of product portfolio.
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Top five aerospace 3D printing market vendors
Airbus has been engaged in the development of parts and components using 3D printing technology. It has partnered with many technology providers to acquire the necessary technologies required for 3D printing. In November 2015, the company initiated the first flight test of a 3D printed aircraft model, under the project Testing High-tech Objectives in Reality (THOR), in Stade, Germany. Airbus had used a 46-pound mini aircraft model powered by 1.5 kW electrically driven propellers. Ninety percent of the structural components of the mini aircraft were produced from plastic polymer powder using 3D printed technology. Apart from this, Airbus has also used 3D printed parts for some of its aircraft models like A350 XWB, a long-haul twin engine aircraft.
Boeing designs and manufactures 3D printed parts and components that are currently used in many aircraft. In August 2016, Boeing successfully manufactured a large solid 3D printed component, the trim-and-drill tool, which is used in the construction of the wings of its next-generation 777X wide-body aircraft.
GE, through its aviation division, engages in the development and manufacture of fuel nozzles that are used in LEAP engines, which is claimed to be 25% lighter than its counterparts. The LEAP engine will have 19 3D printed fuel nozzles in the combustion system. GE plans to produce over 100,000 3D printed parts for the LEAP engine project by 2020.
Honeywell International uses advanced additive manufacturing technologies to produce aircraft components and parts. Such an approach ensures a reduction in time consumption, without compromising on quality. In 2010, the company initiated metal 3D printing manufacturing to produce engine nacelles.
Rolls-Royce has been building aircraft engines for over a century. Since the last two decades, the company has been using 3D printed technology to construct parts and components like aerofoils. In 2015, the company used one of the largest 3D printed parts in a Trent XWB-97 engine fitted on an Airbus A350 XWB wide-body aircraft.
The other prominent vendors are:
- AERIA Luxury Interiors
- MTU Aero Engines
- Norsk Titanium
- Pratt & Whitney
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