In general, cost in production is a key success factor. This holds also for Additive Manufacturing, a technology with unmatched potential compared to traditional manufacturing. However, metal AM has to compete with such conventional technologies. Only if the added value of the AM product or service outweighs the potential cost difference, it can become a successful business case. The prediction of cost becomes of high importance during the development phase of a product. To evaluate the business case and to decide on Make or Buy, there is a lack of knowledge on the real cost of metal AM.
AMPOWER conducted a market study on actual costs in metal Additive Manufacturing to provide an overview on the status quo and to answer several key questions. Firstly, how much does metal AM cost internally and externally today, how will these costs develop in the future? How do cost models change with regards to increasing quantities vs. traditional technologies?
In order to answer these questions, the study analyzed the cost of 6 different metal AM technology principles: LB-PBF, EB-PBF, Powder Laser Deposition, Wire Arc Deposition, Binder Jetting and Metal FDM. During the study a detailed cost model for each technology was developed that allows easy and fast yet realistic cost prediction. Additionally, Make vs Buy will be considered by collecting and evaluating current market prices from part manufacturing suppliers.