SmarTech Publishing is a professional analytic company. This year it presented lots of important reports about the future of the 3D printing industry – for example about opportunities of 3D printing in oil and gas markets. IDTechEx shared also its opinion about using of 3D printing from metal in “3D Printing of Metals 2015-2025: Pricing, properties and projections for 3D printing equipment, materials and applications”. We would like to focus on the next analysis of SmarTech – Titanium Opportunities in Additive Manufacturing”, which shows, that 3D-printed titanium will have a critical strategic role in producing low-weight, highly efficient cars.  What else was claimed in the analysis?

A crucial area of the automotive industry, which can take advantage from  3D printed titanium parts is motorsports sector. At present the value of the titanium consumed is negligible. However, by 2019, the value of titanium consumed by the automotive sector will exceed $10 million and by 2024 it will be close to $50 million.  Throughout the period we expect to see titanium demand within the automotive sector come mostly from continued use for high-performance parts in racing vehicles.  By 2024, the automotive is expected to utilize 103 metric tons in annual demand of titanium and titanium alloys powders.

Why titanium has a future in the automotive industry?

First of all, titanium is already being used in 3D printing. It is popular in the medicine and dentistry industries and automotive companies also ten to use it, what encourages another engineers to take advantage from its potential. A demand for components printed from metals is propelled by small lot production and production of specific parts, which can be used as components of engines.

smartech tytan For non-cost sensitive automotive industry projects with a lightweighting goals, 3D-printed titanium is the ideal material; both 3d-printing and titanium contribute to making parts lighter.  Combining them would be a winning combination.  This may prove even truer as electric cars become more commonplace, with lighter car bodies and parts playing an even greater role in increasing fuel economy.

smartech metal

Source: SmarTech

The impact of these market drivers is expected to accelerate as the cost of titanium additive manufacturing goes down. Efforts to reduce these costs are already underway.  These consist of reduction of additive manufacturing system cost itself, as well as alternate titanium powder production methods to reduce actual material cost per kilogram of titanium. Both avenues would ultimately reduce cost of 3D printed titanium parts for automobile manufactures and potentially result in increased titanium powder demand in the automobile industry.

Obviously the Titanium Opportunities in Additive Manufacturing” is only a prognosis which doesn’t guarantee, that titanium will become the most important used for production of commercial vehicles and sports cars. Other metals could prove more efficient and cost effective for automotive parts production. On the other hand due to its excellent weight-to-strength ratio, titanium may prove particularly effective in driving 3D printing adoption in the automotive industry as a whole.

Source: SmarTech

Paulina Winczewska
German philologist and translator, fanatic of the strangest and the most difficult foreign languages and culinary experiments, who is not afraid of new technologies and gadgets. Enthusiast of swimming.

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