Q4 2020 Market Data from SmarTech Analysis Signals Rebounding Metal 3D Printing Segment

SmarTech Analysis, the leading market research firm for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, has published its latest data for its “AM Market Data Service”. This covers Q4 and the complete 2020 fiscal year. The new data shows that, after a dip during Q2 due COVID-19, the metal 3D printing segment reached nearly $1 billion in revenues for Q4 2020.

Metal 3D printing services took the lion’s share of revenues, according to SmarTech, followed by metal hardware, then materials. The complete data for the AM industry, which can be purchased through SmarTech’s AM Market Data Service, demonstrates an industry on the rebound. Like much of the economy, the 3D printing segment did suffer. While it did continue to grow, it did not expand at the rate expected by analysts prior to the pandemic. The latest data from the market research firm suggests that AM, as a sector, is continuing to recover.

“The metal additive market continued a gradual sequential recovery during the fourth quarter of 2020, with a number of positive developments and several key leaders reporting improved sales and compounding new interest in AM,” said SmarTech analyst and Vice President of Research, Scott Dunham. “These developments are consistent with our projections on the outlook for metal AM that were made near the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, though recovery has come more gradually as the overall economic scenario in many industries are still hamstringing the rising interest in metal AM technologies. SmarTech’s quarterly advisory services track everything from hardware sales to print services activities, but at the core of the industry’s health are the sales of machines. Here we saw the total metal additive market come back in line with 2019 sales for the quarter -and while these are still historically below what we saw in 2017 and 2018, we see more growth on the way in 2021. We are happy to report that the long-term health and success of the metal AM industry is likely more secure than it’s ever been.”

It would seem to this author that much of the financial speculation dedicated to metal 3D printing we’ve seen at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 reflects Dunham’s numbers and analysis. Desktop Metal announced its IPO in December of 2020, which was followed by announcements related to public offerings from Markforged and metal 3D printing firm VELO3D. The launch technology of Rocket Lab, which also intends to go public, is built with metal 3D printing, as well.

The data from SmarTech includes revenues from hardware, materials, and print services. It is available as a Polymer version, a Metal version, and in various and customizable subsets. The service makes it possible for businesses to access industry data at a highly granular level, with customizable datasets available for nearly any subsegment. This includes material shipments to specific industries and/or countries, broken down by 3D printing process. SmarTech collects this information through ongoing interviews with industry insiders and by examining financials from publicly listed firms.

An annual subscription to the AM Market Data Service access quarterly datasets, with additional consulting available for custom data to clients that may require more granular information than is provided with the standard offerings. In addition to the subscription program, individual data reports can be purchased.

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