CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

INSIDE 3D Printing: Forecasted growth to end of decade

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The aerospace industry is among the early adopters of 3D printing, and large-scale research is underway to increase the use of 3D-printed parts and components in newer aircraft. PHOTO courtesy TRUMPF.

The global 3D printing in aerospace and defense market, valued at USD 1.35 billion in 2021, is anticipated to reach USD 8.66 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 26.1%, according to a report from Straits Research.

The design and manufacturing of new aircraft are focused on weight reduction, which has given rise to developing new materials and manufacturing processes. The aerospace industry is among the early adopters of 3D printing, and large-scale research is underway to increase the use of 3D-printed parts and components in newer aircraft. The last three years have seen multiple landmark announcements in the aerospace 3D printing sector, according to Straits Research.

Airbus has begun using additive manufacturing for the tooling and prototyping commercial aircraft parts. Around 2,700 3D-printed plastic parts have been introduced on the company’s new A350 XWB, Straits Research points out. Airbus also makes 3D-printed parts for the single-aisle A320neo and the A330/A310 aircraft. Boeing’s 777X is another example of the increasing adoption of 3D printing in the aerospace industry. The 777X, projected to enter service by 2022, features two GE9X engines with around 300 3D-printed parts, including fuel nozzles, temperature sensors, heat exchanges, and LP turbine blades.

The adoption of 3D-printed parts in engine systems is also increasing, states Straits Research. In June 2021, GE announced that it had received an Engineering Change Proposal approval from the US Air Force for an additive manufactured sump cover for the F110 that powers the Lockheed Martin F-16, among other aircraft. The US Department of Defense has certified it as the first engine part created for and made with metal 3D printing technology. These innovations are anticipated to encourage the use of 3D-printed components in the aerospace industry, fueling the market’s expansion.

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