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Automotive 3D Printing Market Global Forecast to 2027

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The automotive 3D printing market is projected to grow from USD 2.9 billion in 2022 to USD 7.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 21.7%.

Increasing initiatives & investments by major OEMs to drive the growth in automotive 3D printing

3D printing in the automotive sector helps OEMs reduce cost and produce cost-effective auto parts in reduced production time. Even though the implementation of this new technology is challenging at the beginning, OEMs have experienced positive impact on their production process and end products. Thus, OEMs have intensified their investments in 3D printing and made it a vital part of their manufacturing process.

Companies are investing heavily in R&D, which would supplement the growth of the 3D printing market. Various technological advancements in 3D printing techniques and materials in the past two decades have paved the way for new technologies that facilitate the production of various custom products. Industry leaders such as Stratasys (Israel) and 3D Systems (US) have invested significantly in 3D printing technology, which gives them a competitive advantage.

Material availability, cost, and standardization to slow down the automotive 3D printing market

A key factor restricting the adoption of 3D printing is the high cost associated with 3D printing materials; the cost of 3D printing materials is generally higher than bulk resin or powder counterparts. This high cost is attributed to factors such as the high level of purity and the need for uniformity in composition and size for specific 3D printing processes. The limited availability of 3D printing material suppliers compels customers to buy proprietary material from big players, which results in high costs.

Untapped adjacent markets for 3D printing applications

The progression of 3D printing applications from rapid prototyping to direct digital manufacturing (DDM) of products has generated interest in the future applications of 3D printing technologies in diverse fields such as healthcare, consumer products, and automotive. 3D printing possesses substantial commercial potential and will likely have a significant impact on various industries, including aerospace and medical, with more customized and sophisticated applications expected soon.

With the increasing industrialization of technologies, the 3D printing market is also booming in various sectors. The most notable growth is Desktop Metal, which went from a startup to one of the leading players in the 3D printing market. In 2017, the most common application of 3D printing was rapid prototyping. However, now the trend is shifting to R&D. In 2021, R&D applications surpassed prototyping as the most popular 3D printing application. The percentage of companies leveraging 3D printing to build production parts and jigs, fixtures, and tooling has roughly doubled since 2017 and use for production parts has nearly tripled.

The hardware segment is expected to be the leading during the forecast period

The 3D printing market offers software and hardware for various applications in the automotive industry. The hardware offering has the leading share on the offerings landscape and is estimated to lead the market in the forecast period. The growing sales and the wide adoption of the hardware such as 3D printers by the manufacturers are the driving factors for the offering to lead the market globally.

The advancements have helped automakers increase their production volume and reduce production costs. Automotive manufacturers are also using 3D printing for structurally complex and critical components, improving the components’ efficiency, life, and performance. The evolution of electric vehicles is resulting in more hardware used by the automotive industry. The low-volume production in the initial phase of electric vehicles can easily be handled using additive manufacturing economically and efficiently.

The hardware segment is growing as 3D printer manufacturers are consistently developing and updating their 3D printers and machines to suit the requirements of consumers and their applications. Hardware’s leading segment in the offering is driven by the growing sales globally. The advancements have helped automakers increase their production volume and reduce production costs

Europe is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period

The European market is expected to exhibit growth in electric and autonomous vehicle production in the coming years, resulting in an increase in demand for 3D printing. Europe’s vibrant R&D landscape and technological excellence aid the usage of additive manufacturing for the development of prototypes, tooling, and production components. Additionally, the advent of autonomous cars and development of an electric transportation system for buses and trucks would drive the European automotive 3D printing market.

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