The “Chart of the Week” from Additive Manufacturing Research (“AMR”, formerly SmarTech Analysis) is a weekly segment that offers readers an insightful dive into the additive manufacturing (AM) landscape, showcasing pivotal statistics and trends derived from AMR’s exhaustive research.  The metal powder bed fusion (PBF) segment, in particular, has seen a substantial growth trajectory over the past eight years, as evidenced by the recent data encompassing the production of metal PBF parts.

The data paints a picture of an industry on the rise, with North America leading the growth curve with a leap from 1.1 million parts in 2014 to nearly 7 million in 2022. This steady climb reflects a burgeoning demand and the progressive adoption of metal PBF in various sectors across the region.

Europe’s numbers tell a similar story of upward growth, though starting from a higher baseline, which makes sense given that Germany is where most PBF technologies were born. European production of metal PBF parts started at 3.3 million in 2014 and has shown a consistent year-over-year increase, reaching over 12 million parts in 2022. The consistent growth in Europe, even outpacing North America in volume, underscores the region’s robust manufacturing infrastructure and its pivotal role in the advancement of 3D printing technologies.

In the Asia Pacific region, the rise has been nothing short of remarkable, more than quadrupling from 1.2 million parts in 2014 to over 5 million by 2022. This region’s rapid industrialization, coupled with a strong emphasis on technological innovation, has propelled it forward in the 3D printing space. Greater China has also embraced the wave of additive manufacturing, as seen in the growth from approximately 760,000 parts to over 3 million during the same period. The region’s strategic investments in 3D printing as a cornerstone for its manufacturing revolution are evident in these numbers. This also shouldn’t be surprising to anyone tracking this segment, as numerous PBF companies have emerged from China in recent years.

Lastly, the Rest of the World, which includes regions not specified in the other categories, has shown a resilient and steady growth, indicating a global embrace of the technology. Starting at under half a million parts in 2014, production in these areas has quintupled, reflecting the global penetration and adoption of metal PBF technology.

Overall, the significant and steady increase in the volume of parts produced from 2014 to 2022 via metal PBF technologies demonstrates the expanding footprint of 3D printing across various industries globally. With advancements in technology, reductions in costs, and the increasing viability of metal PBF for both prototyping and production, the sector is poised to continue this growth trend, revolutionizing manufacturing and production landscapes around the world.

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