Wohlers Report Gives the Whole Story on AM/3D Printing
For the 17th year in a row, Wohlers Associates, Inc. has published its global industry analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing. It’s hard to believe that the AM/3D printing industry has been something worth reporting on since 1995. And it’s even more amazing that Terry Wohlers, creator of the Wohlers Report, has been involved in the business for more than two decades.
The key finding in the latest report is that growth in AM/3D printing is continuing at a record pace. According to the report, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of AM was 29.4% in 2011, and the industry is expected to experience strong double-digit growth over the next several years. By 2015, Wohlers Associates believes that the sale of AM products and services will reach $3.7 billion worldwide, and surpass the $6.5 billion mark by 2019.
Written for executive and engineering management, product developers, service providers, researchers, educators, analysts, and the investment community, the 287-page report has a lot of great information about all aspects of AM/3D printing.
From a CAD/CAM performance perspective, you’ll want to check out the section on front-and back-end considerations, and the section on what industries and regions are benefiting most from AM processes. Direct part production via AM is gaining traction in industries from aerospace and automotive to medical and musical instruments, and you’ll learn how AM is changing the way you design and manufacture for cost-effectiveness and sustainability.
The last section discusses current trends, such as new design tools, advances in metals, evolving industry standards and the continuing rise of low-priced, personal 3D printers.
In a recent Forbes article by TJ McCue, Terry Wohlers is quoted as saying, “Low-cost 3D printers affect both the professional and consumer markets. The increased sale of these machines over the past few years has taken additive manufacturing mainstream more than any other single development. 3D printers have helped spread the technology and made it more accessible to students, researchers, do-it-yourself enthusiasts, hobbyists, inventors and entrepreneurs.”
The final section of the Wohlers Report also looks to the future, with commentary on how AM will be used for far more demanding applications, printed batteries and electronics, legal issues, workflow management and 3D printers for kids.
Let us know what you think of the report—and of AM/3D printing in general. Last but not least, the types of capabilities outlined in the Wohler’s Report wouldn’t be possible without workstations that can handle these complex processing tasks. For more ideas on how to get the most out of your workstations, read my previous post about wasting workstation potential.