Wohlers Associates Publishes 2012 Report on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing

Wohlers Associates, Inc. today announced the publication of Wohlers Report 2012, an in-depth analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing worldwide. This new edition marks the 17th consecutive year of its publication. The report is the most thorough and comprehensive document of its kind. Its 287 pages are packed with up-to-date and practical information that includes 30 charts and graphs, 55 tables, and 219 photographs and illustrations. The annual study was created with support from 71 service providers, 27 system manufacturers, and the valuable contributions of 57 co-authors from 21 countries.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of additive manufacturing was 29.4% in 2011, according to the new report. The CAGR for the industry’s 24-year history is 26.4%. The AM industry is expected to continue 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 by 2019, surpass the $6.5 billion mark.

Wohlers Report 2012 covers all aspects of additive manufacturing, including its history, applications, processes, manufacturers, and materials. It documents pertinent developments in the past year, covers R&D and collaboration activities in government, academia, and industry, and summarizes the state of the industry in countries around the world. It also tracks the extraordinary growth of personal 3D printers—machines priced under $5,000, with the majority in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.

“No other organization has access to this depth of data and statistics,” said Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates and a principal author of the new report. The information is used to track industry growth, provide views and perspective, uncover trends, and offer insight into the future of additive manufacturing. “The 2012 edition is the most ambitious effort in the report’s history,” Wohlers said. Major new parts on applications, materials and processes, and front- and back-end considerations were added. The final part of the report concludes with 19 trends that are expected to shape the future of the technology and industry.

“The information in the new report represents 17 years of collecting and analyzing data, which is unique to the AM industry,” said Tim Caffrey, associate consultant at Wohlers Associates and a principal author of Wohlers Report 2012. “We’ve added a considerable amount of new content and reorganized much of the material. We hope that this year’s edition, which uses ASTM standard terminology, serves as a valuable resource for its many readers.”

The report sells for $495 worldwide and is available in PDF form. The report’s table of contents, as well as additional information on the market and industry, are available at wohlersassociates.com.

Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Additive manufacturing is used to build physical models, prototypes, patterns, tooling components, and production parts in plastic, metal, and composite materials. AM systems use thin, horizontal cross sections from computer-aided design (CAD) models, 3D-scanning systems, medical scanners, and video games to produce parts that can be difficult or impossible to produce any other way.

Wohlers Associates is an independent consulting firm that provides technical, marketing, and strategic advice on the new developments and trends in rapid product development and additive manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.wohlersassociates.com

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