MCADCafe Weekly Review May 28th, 2017

Last week at the RAPID + TCT conference in Pittsburgh, I made a point of catching up with my friend (and fellow Coloradan), Terry Wohlers, President of Wohlers Associates. I caught him after his excellent keynote presentation where we discussed several aspects of the 3D printing industry in a video interview that will be posted on the MCADCafe site very soon.

Among the things we discussed was the recently released the Wohlers Report 2017, his company’s annual detailed analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing worldwide. According to the Report, the AM industry grew by 17.4% in worldwide revenues in 2016, down from 25.9% the year before, according to the new report. Much of the downturn came from declines by the two largest system manufacturers in the business — 3D Systems and Stratasys. Together, they represented $1.31 billion (21.7%) of the $6.063 billion AM industry. If these two companies were excluded from the analysis, the industry would have grown by 24.9%.

Wohlers Associates is widely recognized as the leading consulting firm and foremost authority on additive manufacturing and 3D printing. This annual publication has served as the undisputed industry-leading report on the subject for more than two decades. Over its 22 years of publication, many (including me) have referred to the report as the “bible” of AM and 3D printing—terms that are used interchangeably by the company and industry. I think it easily remains the most comprehensive resource on the topic and market.

Wohlers Report 2017

Wohlers Report 2017
As it has from the beginning, Wohlers Report 2017 covers virtually every aspect of additive manufacturing, including its history, applications, underlying technologies, processes, manufacturers, and materials. It documents significant developments that have occurred in the past year, R&D and collaboration activities in government, academia, industry, and summarizes the worldwide state of the industry.

According to Wohlers Report 2017, 97 manufacturers produced and sold industrial additive manufacturing (AM) systems in 2016. This is up from 62 companies in 2015 and 49 in 2014. These manufacturers are providing interesting products and unprecedented competition in the AM industry. This wave of development and commercialization is putting pressure on the established producers of industrial AM systems.

For Wohlers Report 2017, input was collected from 100 service providers, 61 industrial system manufacturers, and 19 producers of third-party materials and low-cost desktop 3D printers.

The Report also includes contributions from 76 experts in 31 countries. No other published analysis of the AM industry is supported by more than two decades of hard data (and the knowledge gained from it) as the basis for computing growth, analyzing trends, and forecasting the future.

Wohlers Report 2017 serves as both an excellent educational and reference tool. It provides an in-depth review and analysis of the industry worldwide. It includes growth, competitive products and services, and the future outlook for the industry. The report covers the technology’s history, applications, processes, materials, and equipment manufacturers. It also thoroughly documents developments in R&D, investment and collaborative activities in government, academia, and industry. The report brings to light the rich range of technologies, markets, and business models that continue to emerge within the industry.

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