Trends 2024

The additive manufacturing industry fared better than most in the immediate post-pandemic world but the bill has arrived in 2023 and may turn out to be even more costly in 2024. Sure, the industry continues to grow. That’s what happens in a young and still immature industry but some companies – especially the public ones –  are struggling. And yet we are confident that additive manufacturing trends in 2024 – as we will see in this AM Trends 2024 VM Focus – will confirm that all young industries eventually mature.

As with any young industry, AM is also subject to rapid humor changes, a nearly manic-depressive behavior that resembles that of football fans. As a football fan myself, I know it well. As long as my team wins everything is fine but when they tie one game it’s all going down the drain. The same happens the other way around. I get numb to losses but as soon as they win one game they are the best team in the world again. That’s ok for football if you are just a fan. It’s less okay if you are a football professional. And it’s not okay if you are an additive manufacturing professional.

Many use the Gartner hype cycle to try to describe what has happened and what will happen in the AM industry but it’s impossible. AM exists across so many industrial segments, large and small, advanced and traditional, that it would require hundreds of curves – large and small, existing on many different planes – to describe. It’s not possible to accurately forecast the future but it is inevitable to assume that AM will succeed in gaining adoption across an ever-increasing range of industrial production workflows.

We want AM to succeed and we believe it will. But we need to remain balanced. There will be ups and downs. A lot of them. But in general, the AM industry is trending upward. As we make our forecasts and try to identify key additive manufacturing trends for 2024, we must keep that in mind: the industry will grow, some segments more than others and while some companies may struggle (especially if they overextended or overinvested) others will be doing just fine. Is the AM industry (and most AM companies) still burning more money than it’s making? Yes, it probably is. Guess what? So is Amazon.

Today, in light of the dismal performances of most 3D printing stocks in 2023, the AM community in general seems to be overly gloomy in its outlook. If you believe AM is the future – at VoxelMatters we do – this is the time to invest even more resources and efforts to make it happen. The year 2024 – another leap year after 2020, the year of COVID – is not going to be an easy year for AM and for just about every other industrial segment (except for maybe the defense industry and other evergreens like medical and dental). Even so, many aerospace, automotive, energy, maritime companies are going to expand their AM investments.

It may not seem like it right now, but the time has come for AM to take that leap!

Scroll down for the latest AM Trends 2024 news [updating].

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