Metal 3D printing service bureaus: $6.7 billion opportunity by 2023

Metal 3D printing service bureaus: $6.7 billion opportunity by 2023

Metal service bureaus will buy almost $550 million in printers by 2023, most of which will be PBF machines. Also, in 2023, AM service bureaus will consume more than $250 million in metals.

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October 12, 2018
Elizabeth Engler Modic

The “Metal 3D Printing Services: Service Revenues, Printer Purchases and Materials Consumption – 2018 to 2027” report analyzes the opportunities and value propositions for metal additive manufacturing (AM) services from the perspective of the service bureaus and from that of printer makers, materials firms, and the end user community. And, while metal based 3D printing is a growing market, the margins available to service bureaus are not what they have traditionally enjoyed. This has led firms to pursue strategies of specialization, providing broad network-based services, cloud-based offerings, or high-value design, marketing, and integration offerings.

Metal AM is capturing a lot of the attention in the market as companies look to leverage the benefits and opportunities it provides. As polymer-based 3D printing has moved inside of end user companies, service bureaus are transitioning to metal as the next iteration of their businesses. SmarTech analysts expect revenues from metals service bureau to reach $6.7 billion by 2023 and then almost double by 2027.

Service bureaus are also seen as a means for companies to sell hardware both as a direct customer but also for systems companies to introduce their offerings to customer or for the bureaus to act as AM evangelists for the market. Analysts sees this service bureau factor as playing a key role in 3D printing’s broader adoption.

Longer term, SmarTech analysts see service bureaus offerings becoming more and more important in the market as machines become commoditized and China based manufacturers begin to compete in the market. As this happens AM services, will become more important increasingly include post processing and finishing services, inspection and quality assurance measures, and material analysis and application R&D, so that the service bureau can act as outsourced expert for metal AM.

Metal service bureaus will buy almost $550 million in printers by 2023, most of which will be PBF machines. Also, in 2023, AM service bureaus will consume more than $250 million in metals.

This report provides granular 10-year forecasts of activity at AM service bureau including projections of the number of parts printed (prototypes, tools, final parts), service provider revenues (by end user type), printers purchased by service bureaus (by AM technology), and metals consumed (by type of metal). Service bureau end users covered in this report include medical, aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, and dental customers.

In addition, future goals and strategies of leading firms in the metals service business are analyzed and firms profiled in this report include: 3D Systems, BeamIT, Burloak, Carpenter, DM3D, ExOne, FIT, GE Additive, Hoganas, HP, i3DMFG, Materialise, MTI, Oerlikon, Protolabs, Renishaw, Sculpteo, Sintavia, Siemens (Material Solutions), and Stratasys.