Advanced manufacturing became more advanced in 2022 with additive manufacturing developments. New hardware, expanded material options, and software solutions from idea to post processing became available. Whether trying to print bigger with large-scale machines, smaller with micro 3D printing, or even printing or embedding electronics, more machines became accessible. Looking to quality throughout the process, several materials were qualified on a variety of machines and software/hardware combinations for in situ monitoring and easier testing grew. New material options include composites, ceramics, graphene, metal alloys with improved properties, and materials for biofabrication increased. Software solutions concentrated on improving the process from design to planning, including use of artificial intelligence.
With a focus to accelerating application and advancements, the busiest category for developments in 2022 was the number of collaborations, investments, and funding we saw. Both Materialise and EOS announced new partner networks to provide integrated platform solutions. Henkel expanded materials partnerships with Carbon, Desktop Metal, and others. The US government funded several projects through grants and contracts. More than $100 million was raised through venture capital organizations and companies. Investments included Nikon in Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, Stratasys in Axial3D, and Hexagon’s investment in Divergent Technologies’ alternative production process to traditional vehicle manufacturing called DAPS® (Divergent Adaptive Production System).
As we’ve seen throughout the last 30 years, the additive manufacturing community expands and then strategic acquisitions improve the integrated solutions available to technology users. In 2022, we saw Sybridge Technologies acquire assets of Fast Radius, Stratasys acquire Riven and Covestro’s additive manufacturing materials business, Lithoz acquire CaerAMing, Materialise acquire Indetify3D, Markforged acquire Digital Metal, Carbon acquire ParaMatters, 3D Systems acquire Titan Additive and Kumovis, and several others.
If you missed any of these developments or just want to look at them all together, dive into them by category in the articles below.