Over 18 different metal AM technologies are currently known and all at different stages of technological and industrial maturity. This section evaluates important characteristics describing the state of the industrial use of metal AM today and in the future.
Processes such as Powder Bed Fusion or Powder Laser Deposition are well-established in multiple industries. PBF for example is used in qualified productions of end use parts for dental industry since almost two decades. Other AM technologies have just been introduced into the market or are still in a phase of development and prototype set-up.
To describe the use of metal AM in the industrial production environment, several performance indicators are assessed. This includes utilization, type of products and batch sizes as well as the maturity index.