The tooling industry has been identified as the greatest opportunity for near- term AM market growth in Ohio and in particular, northeast Ohio; 3DP equipment Tooling is, by its nature, a low-volume / high variability production process.

It is also the single largest cost component of most mass-produced products. Some additive manufacturing processes have been demonstrated to be effective at producing viable tooling for applications including molding, casting, and forming. Current applications are generally limited to expendable molds (as in green sand casting) or low-volume production tooling in molding and light-gage forming applications. This has opened up the opportunity for manufacturers to produce components cost effectively at much lower production volumes than previously possible. This has significant implications for increasing innovation through lower fixed capital costs and shorter design iteration cycles. AM tooling is also more readily integrated into the existing manufacturing ecosystem. AM tooling yields components that are manufactured by traditional processes and that are made from traditional materials. Thus, they are able to be incorporated into the traditional supply chain without additional barriers.

Ohio is 2nd in the US in tool, die & mold output with ~12% share. Thus, we estimate a market potential of >$1billion for AM tooling production in Ohio by 2020.

At the recent SME RAPID 2016 conference, an annual conference dedicated to the acceleration of AM, market researchers from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Oak Ridge National Library (UTK-ORNL) estimated that the total global addressable market for tooling would grow to $68.7 billion by 2020. Unfortunately, this sizeable opportunity is offset by what researchers say will be a direct correlation between the offshoring of tooling and the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs. From 1997 to 2010, the volume of U.S. tooling imports grew from $1.3 billion to $4.8 billion, with a corresponding decline in domestic manufacturing jobs. Researchers project that an ideal target for restoring a portion of this immense market is the low quantity, high customization, large area tooling. They estimate that the accessible market for AM tooling in the U.S. will be $8.8 billion by 2020. This is a sizable growth opportunity, as the 2015 market estimate for AM tooling in North America would be roughly $800 million, a 40 percent share of indirect revenue estimates.

Interested in finding a service bureau that can 3D print tooling for you?

The Members of the Ohio Additive Manufacturing Cluster offer extensive capabilities for 3D printing tooling in a variety of materials and applications.

Please submit a request to receive a complete listing by email here.

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Additive Manufacturing Cluster of Ohio
Team NEO
1111 Superior Ave. Suite #1600
Cleveland, OH 44114


Erica Fitzpatrick, Team NEO
Program Manager, Industry and Innovation
Phone: (216) 363-5412