Additive Manufacturing (AM), also referred to as 3D Printing, has the potential to revolutionise the way products are designed, manufacturing and even supplied.
AM is a method of making production parts and products directly from design data, building accurate components by adding layers of material to obtain the final shape with minimal waste and no expensive dedicated tooling. It permits radical product re-design and creates new material properties.
Growing importance of Additive Manufacturing
The worldwide market for all Additive Manufacturing products and services in 2015 was worth £3.59 billion and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 31.5% in the last three years. This rapid growth is forecast to continue and accelerate over the next decade.
The UK is well placed to take advantage of this rapidly expanding market as it is already:
- A global force in advanced technology, life sciences and medical manufacturing
- Equipped with a strong capability in universities, Catapults and R&D organisations
- At the forefront of the technological advancements in AM.
It is estimated that the UK can win up to 8% or £5bn of this rapidly growing global market, forecast to reach £69bn by 2025. This will have a strong effect on protecting existing jobs (63,000 by 2020) while also generating new employment.
Where is Additive Manufacturing making a difference?
AM is making the biggest impact in high value manufacturing sectors such as:
- Automotive (including motorsport)
- Energy generation equipment
- Consumer goods (sport, leisure, jewellery)
- General industrial products
- Health, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment