Why is 3D Printing So Relevant to the Aerospace and Defense Industry These Days?

The ability to get ahead. A competitive advantage is what it takes to succeed, whether it’s gaining market dominance ahead of your rivals, minimizing production costs using the latest technology, or delivering a product that’s far superior to what’s currently in the market.

For the aerospace and defense industry, the edge is no less than the 3D printing or additive manufacturing technique.

Do not misinterpret me on this but 3-dimensional printing has long been used in the aerospace and defense industries. As per the report made by MarketsandMarkets, they anticipate that the market for 3-dimensional printing will grow by more than 23% come the year 2023 to around $4.76 billion.

3D rocket

So far, the growth of the additive manufacturing industry and prospects have been so transformative to say the least. Around 70% of the respondents are making a high claim that it has turned around their lives for the better. 

What Do People Think About Additive Manufacturing Technology and Its Impact on Aerospace and Defense Industry?

  • Around 29% of the respondents said that it is just a matter of time before it creates a significant impact on the way we think and work. 
  • 70% of the respondents said additive manufacturing has already created a significant impact on how we think, do our work, and function.
  • A meager 1% of the respondents asserted that it won’t ever affect the industry. 

Almost three-quarters of survey respondents said they use additive manufacturing technology for prototyping, and we find this not surprising at all.

Apart from that, 44 percent of the respondents say they use 3-dimensional printing  for repair and maintenance, 43 percent have it for research and development, and almost 4 out of 10 will have it for production of parts. 

Finally, about a third of respondents said they were using 3-dimensional printing to create fixtures, tooling, and jigs as well as bridges. Every single day, with the unveiling of new advancements, the use-cases become even more diverse for this manufacturing method.

3D technology

Having the ability to utilize 3D printing in aerospace and defense production was enough of a strategic advantage a few years ago. Business entities then discreetly qualified processes and materials and used them to increase their market share in terms of weight, platform capability, or payload volume reduction.

Currently, the focus on materials is shifting away from the use of plastics but more and more towards metallic materials. This is actually setting the stage for brand new opportunities. 

When materials like additive-produced metals have a firm footing, we can hope for a dramatic increase in use cases in aerospace, defense, and space. 9 of 10 industries are anticipating that their expected use of 3-dimensional printing will double up in the coming years. 

We may have a hunch for what’s going to happen next, but the work going on behind the scenes is incredibly good, and it’s all geared toward giving us a competitive advantage.

This explains the reason why around 36% of major industry leaders today are planning to invest in 3D printing in the upcoming years. This statistical number, though, does not include the early adopters of this type of manufacturing technology.