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The latest Aluminum Additive Manufacturing 2019 Outlook and Database from US market research firm SmarTech has found that aluminum alloys are gaining ground as a material in 3D printing. According to the analysis, in 2018, the material, which is in demand for lightweight construction among other things, achieved a share of 10% of the total market for metals in additive manufacturing. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, the demand for aluminum powders rose by 43%, and SmarTech is forecasting similar growth rates for 2019.

Metal-based 3D printing is becoming increasingly important in mechanical engineering . According to the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), companies are now using additive manufacturing processes not only for prototyping, but also for series production, as well as for manufacturing tools and spare parts. When it comes to metal 3D printing in particular, many companies start out by cooperating with third-party suppliers before setting up their own production capacities.