Wohlers Report 2018 Details Overall 3D Printing Industry Growth, Major Gains in Metals

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An industry like 3D printing generates a great deal of analysis, and there’s no shortage of market reports with plenty of details on how the industry and its various players are performing. Most everyone in the 3D printing industry agrees, though, upon one thing: there is no report more detailed, more comprehensive, more all-around knowledgeable than the Wohlers Report.

For 23 years, Terry Wohlers and Wohlers Associates Inc. have been publishing the report, leaving no stone unturned while researching the state of the world of 3D printing. The release of a new installment of the Wohlers Report is always a momentous day in 3D printing, and this year is no exception as the 2018 report arrives today.

While Wohlers Associates Founder and President Terry Wohlers spearheads the report, its development and publication is a massive team effort, with 76 co-authors and contributors in 32 countries contributing to this edition; Wohlers Associates has accumulated what is believed to be the largest worldwide network of professional contacts in the industry. The report was created with the support of 92 service providers, 64 manufacturers of industrial additive manufacturing systems, and 19 producers of third party materials and desktop 3D printers. It covers government-sponsored research and development, collaborations and consortia, and the research and activities of 110 academic and 11 research institutions.

The 344-page 2018 report contains a wealth of information on every corner of the additive manufacturing industry, but one major factor becomes immediately clear: this is an industry that is still growing at a rapid pace, and what’s especially expanding is metal. In 2016, an estimated 983 metal additive manufacturing systems were sold. In 2017, that number shot up 80% to 1,768. That’s by far the greatest single-year increase since 2000. It isn’t just the numbers that are going up, either; the Wohlers Report 2018 also found that process monitoring and quality assurance measures are improving, though more work remains to be done.

These numbers show that manufacturers around the world are discovering the benefits of additive manufacturing. Supply is meeting demand, as well – in 2017, 135 companies around the world produced and sold industrial additive manufacturing systems, defined as machines that sell for more than $5,000, up from 97 companies in 2016. New 3D printer manufacturers are entering the market at a rapid rate, and they’re bringing new and valuable things with them, such as open material systems, faster print speeds, and lower prices, allowing metal AM to become more and more accessible.

Terry Wohlers

“The number of new and important developments in additive manufacturing is staggering,” Wohlers told 3DPrint.com. “Our report team of more than 80 experts did an astounding job at bringing it all together in a meaningful way. I’m so incredibly proud of them.”

There are several new features in the Wohlers Report 2018, including new and expanded sections on design for additive manufacturing, post-processing, and a variety of startups and research initiatives. It includes 36 charts and graphs, 110 tables, and 192 photographs and illustrations. It also has more than 160 pages of supplemental online information available to buyers of the report.

Principal authors of the report, in addition to Wohlers himself, include Ian Campbell, Olaf Diegel, and Joseph Kowen, with associate authors Ismail Fidan and David Bourell. A full list of contributors can be found here.

The PDF of the Wohlers Report 2018 is available for $495; a printed and bound copy is $595. If you purchase the online version, you can add a printed copy for $295. You can order your copy here.

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