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Aerospace & Defense Additive Manufacturing Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Platform (Aviation (Aircraft and UAV), Defense (Combat Vehicles, Military PPE, Weapons, Submarine Hulls, and Others), Space (Engines, Satellites, Spacecraft, and Rockets)), By Vertical (Printer, Material, and Others), By Application (Engine Components, Space Components, Structural Components, Defense Equipment, and Others), By Technology (FDM, DMLS, SLA, CLIP, SLS, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: July 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106550



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The global aerospace & defense additive manufacturing market size was USD 3.58 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.73 billion in 2021 to USD 13.01 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 19.51% during the 2021-2028 period. North America dominated the aerospace & defense additive manufacturing market with a market share of 36.31% in 2020.


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The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with aerospace & defense additive manufacturing witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of -6.18% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Additive manufacturing is an advanced process in manufacturing in which a 3D printer receives commands from software and creates a three-dimensional product. The 3D printing technology, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is used in various industries such as aerospace & defense, automotive, healthcare, and others. Aerospace & defense is an early adopter of AM technology. Designing and developing complex aerospace parts, 3D printed UAVs, and higher adoption to manufacture defense equipment will drive the aerospace & defense additive manufacturing market growth.

For example, Airbus has over 1,000 3D printed parts on its new A350 XWB aircraft. Additionally, NASA uses 3D printing technology to develop and test a space rover containing over 70 fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printed parts.


Aerospace & Defense Sector Witnessed Unprecedented Challenges Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market has been high. The aerospace & defense additive manufacturing industry is witnessing a reduction in printers and materials due to disruption in supply chains across regions. In addition, an economic slowdown has severely impacted the manufacturing sector and procurement plans of end users.

  • Decreased demand for aircraft, production halt due to lockdown, and disruptions in the supply chain hamper the market growth.

  • Annual reports of the key players stated a decline in revenue in 2020 compared to the previous year. Stratasys Ltd. witnessed a revenue decline of -22.13 from 2019 to 2020 while 3D Systems, Inc. had revenue of USD 629.0 million, decreasing to 578.7 million in 2020. Thus, the overall impact of COVID-19 was negative on the aerospace & defense additive manufacturing market.


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3D Printing in Space Exploration Missions to Augment Market Growth

Additive manufacturing in space plays a key role in enabling the future of interplanetary colonization and human space travel. 3D printing produces lighter, low-cost satellites, rockets, and engines for the space sector. Aerospace & defense additive manufacturing helps in reducing the cost of commercial space activities by developing advanced materials such as high-performance polymers, metal replacement, and composites.

NASA’s AM efforts for the International Space Station focused on 3D printing plastics or polymers. The fused filament fabrication (FFF) works well in microgravity and meets the International Space Station’s volume, power, and mass constraints. NASA delivered about 7,000 pounds of spare parts to the ISS every year.


Increasing Demand for Lightweight Parts and Components to Fuel Market Growth

Aircraft weight is one of the vital parameters in the design and development of an aircraft. Reducing the weight of an aircraft reduces its fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and payload. 3D printing is used to manufacture different aircraft components, parts, overall frames without compromising the strength and aerodynamics of aircraft.

The manufacturers have hundreds of guides, fixtures, templates, and gauges 3D printed for every aircraft, reducing 60 to 90% lead time and cost compared to other manufacturing processes. Thus, rising demand for lightweight and cost-effective parts drives the market growth of aerospace & defense additive manufacturing during the forecast period.

Growing Adoption of Additive Manufacturing in Defense Sector to Aid Growth

Nowadays, the defense industry is highly focused on growing the additive manufacturing process for combat vehicles, military personal protective equipment, weapons, and others. 3D printing provides rapid product development, waste reduction, metal 3D printing for complex military components that help in the battlefield. Indian defense establishments and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) use 3D printers to develop components for indigenous engine program using the Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technique. Thus, rising demand for aerospace & defense additive manufacturing technique drives the market growth.


High Energy Consumption and Expensive 3D Printing Technology to Hamper Market Growth

High costs associated with 3D printing and higher energy consumption than conventional methods hamper the market's growth. According to a Loughborough University research report, 3D printers consumed nearly 50 to 100 times more energy in melting plastic with heat or lasers than injection molding. Furthermore, factors such as the high cost of 3D printing machines, restricted build size, limited materials, and others hinder the market growth.


By Platform Analysis

Aerospace Segment to Dominate Market Owing to Rising Adoption of 3D Printing in Development of Complex Aircraft Parts

Based on platform, the market is segmented into aviation, defense, and space.

The aviation segment is further divided into aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The defense segment is classified into combat vehicles, weapons, military PPE, submarine hulls, and others. The space segment is further divided into rockets, engines, satellites, and spacecraft.

The aerospace segment held the highest shares in 2020. The domination is due to the growing use of 3D printing to design and develop complex aircraft parts such as aircraft engines, cabin accessories, air ducts, casted metal parts, and others.

The space segment will witness the highest growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the growing adoption of 3D printers to develop complex space equipment such as satellites, rockets, engines, and others.

The defense segment will showcase significant growth due to rising 3D printed components for defense equipment development. In 2018, the military budget of the United States was USD 639.1 billion, out of which USD 13.2 billion was allocated for 3D printing and technological innovation.

By Vertical Analysis

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Materials Segment Will Witness Highest Growth Due to Rising Demand for Composite Materials in Aircraft

Based on vertical, the market is classified into printer, materials, and others.

The printer segment held the highest shares in the market in 2020. The growth is due to advanced 3D printers and the growing adoption of AM technology from the aerospace and defense sectors. In May 2021, Stratasys Ltd. launched three new 3D printers for various applications.

The materials segment is estimated to show the highest growth during 2021-2028 due to the growing use of various materials to 3D print engine components. Furthermore, developing new materials used for 3D printing of parts and components drives the market growth.

By Application Analysis

Space Components Segment Dominated in 2020 Due to Rising Space Exploration Missions Worldwide

Based on application, the market is segmented into engine components, space components, structural components, defense equipment, and others.

The space components segment registered the largest share in 2020. This dominance is due to rising space exploration missions from various countries worldwide. In October 2020, Lockheed Martin Corporation enlisted help from Relativity Space, a rocket-building firm, to 3D print projectiles for the NASA mission.  

The engine components segment is anticipated to show significant growth during the forecast period due to the growing number of aircraft deliveries and rising spending on research and development from aircraft OEMs.

By Technology Analysis

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) Segment Dominated the Market in 2020 due to Higher Accuracy and Stability

Based on technology, the market is classified into Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and others.

The FDM segment held a dominant share in 2020. It develops parts with great durability and stability, various thermoplastics, and high accuracy in geometric structures.

The DMLS segment is expected to show the highest growth. The growth is attributed to the increasing use of DMLS toward making complex structures. The component made with DMLS technology has corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and good welding characteristics.


North America Aerospace & Defense Additive Manufacturing Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.

North America stood at USD 1.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to dominate due to higher defense and aviation industry expenditure. In April 2021, the U.S. Army selected Applied Science & Technology Research Organization (ASTRO) to develop and deliver the world’s largest metal 3D printer for vehicles. Furthermore, key players such as General Electric, 3D Systems, Inc., ExOne, and others propel the market growth.

Europe will showcase significant growth during 2021-2028 due to increased investment in additive manufacturing from the U.K, Germany, France, Russia, and others. In addition, growing spending on the aviation sector and procurement of advanced defense equipment with 3D printed parts drive the market growth across Europe.

The Asia Pacific will experience fast-paced growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the rising expenditure on developing lightweight components for the defense and aerospace industry from China, South Korea, and India. According to Ernst & Young (EY) report, the 3D printing familiarity in Korea grew from 24% in 2016 to 81% in 2019.  Additionally, the TCT magazine report states that Chinese players developed 38 metal 3D printers of all sizes and shapes, driving the market growth across the Asia Pacific.

The market in the Rest of the World is anticipated to show moderate growth. The growth is due to the rapidly growing aviation sector and increased spending on procurement of next-generation defense equipment’s from Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, and others.


Key Players Focus on Business Expansion Through Contract with Aircraft OEMs and Partnerships

Key players in the aerospace & defense additive manufacturing market introduce advanced 3D printers and materials. In March 2021, Stratasys entered into a partnership with Airbus to supply 3D printed parts to different Airbus aircraft. Furthermore, in July 2021, Sintavia, LLC launched its proprietary copper 3D printing technology for the GRCop-42 used by NASA and private space flight players to power their rocket thrust chamber assemblies.


  • 3D Systems, Inc. (U.S.)

  • EnvisionTEC (Germany)

  • EOS (Germany)

  • ExOne (U.S.)

  • General Electric (U.S.)

  • Hoganas AB (Sweden)

  • Optomec, Inc. (U.S.)

  • ProdWays TECH (France)

  • Renishaw plc. (U.K)

  • SLM Solutions (Germany)

  • Stratasys Ltd. (Israel)

  • Ultimaker BV (Netherlands)


  • February 2021 – The U.S. Department of Defense signed a contract worth USD 1.6 million with ExOne for shipping container 3D printing factories. Under the agreement, the company will create a 3D printing pod in a standard shipping container up to 40 feet long.

  • November 2020 European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract worth EU385K with Dawn Aerospace to develop 3D printed rocket engines. The contract was provided under the Future Launcher Preparatory Program (FLPP).


An Infographic Representation of Aerospace & Defense Additive Manufacturing Market

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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as key providers, technologies, and applications. Moreover, the report offers insights into the aerospace & defense additive manufacturing trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD billion)


By Platform, Vertical, Application, Technology, and Geography

By Platform

  • Aviation

    • Aircraft

    • UAV

  • Defense

    • Combat Vehicles

    • Military PPE

    • Weapons

    • Submarine Hulls

    • Others

  • Space

    • Engines

    • Satellite

    • Rockets

    • Spacecraft

By Vertical

  • Printer

  • Material

  • Others

By Application

  • Engine Components

  • Space Components

  • Structural Components

  • Defense Equipment

  • Others

By Technology

  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

  • Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP)

  • Stereolithography (SLA)

  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

  • Others

By Geography


  • North America (Platform, Vertical, Application, Technology, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Vertical)

    • Canada (By Vertical)

  • Europe (Platform, Vertical, Application, Technology, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Vertical)

    • Germany (By Vertical)

    • France (By Vertical)

    • Russia (By Vertical)

    • Rest of Europe (By Vertical)

  • Asia Pacific (Platform, Vertical, Application, Technology, and Country)

    • Japan (By Vertical)

    • China (By Vertical)

    • India (By Vertical)

    • South Korea (By Vertical)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Vertical)

  • Rest of the World (Platform, Vertical, Application, Technology, and Sub-Region)

    • Latin America (By Vertical)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Vertical)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 3.58 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 13.01 billion by 2028.

Registering a CAGR of 19.51%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

Printer in the vertical segment is the leading segment in the market.

Stratasys Ltd., General Electric, ExOne, 3D Systems, Inc., EOS are the leading players in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

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