Wohlers Associates, Inc., recognized widely as one of the leading additive manufacturing and 3D printing consulting firms, announced the publication of the Wohlers Report 2017. This edition marks the 22nd consecutive year of the undisputed industry-leading report.
According to Wohlers Report 2017, 97 manufacturers produced and sold 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 AM systems.
The AM industry grew by 17.4% 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. Together, they represent $1.31 billion (21.7%) of the $6.063 billion AM industry, according to Wohlers Report 2017. If these two companies were excluded from the analysis, the industry would have grown by 24.9%.
Each year, the Wohlers Report is anticipated by industry insiders and knowledgeable observers because the analysis it provides is based on many years of data. 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.
Separately, 76 experts and organizations in 31 countries contributed information and insight to the new publication. No other published analysis of the AM industry is supported by so much hard data, coupled with such a strong group of specialists worldwide. Together, they form the basis for computing growth, analyzing trends, and forecasting the future.
Wohlers Report 2017 is an excellent learning tool and a powerful reference. It provides an in-depth review and analysis of growth, competitive products and services, and the future outlook for the industry. It covers the technology's history, applications, materials, processes, and equipment manufacturers. The report documents R&D, investment, and activities in government, academia, and industry. It brings to light the changing range of AM technologies, markets, and business models.
Associate consultants and principal authors Ian Campbell, Olaf Diegel, and Joseph Kowen were a big part of the core team that shouldered large and important parts of this report. “It would not have been possible to produce it without them,” said Terry Wohlers, principal author and president of Wohlers Associates. “They are central to our network of colleagues and contacts—the largest and most developed, we believe, in the AM industry.” This network has resulted in a publication that offers an unparalleled window into AM and 3D printing.
The 344-page Wohlers Report 2017 includes 28 charts and graphs, 26 tables, and 232 photographs and illustrations. It also includes more than 160 pages of supplemental online information that is available to buyers of the report.