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Love Hate Relationship

May 11, 2014

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,life — Terry Wohlers @ 07:20

I have a “special relationship” with the Wohlers Report—a 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry study that we’ve published for 19 consecutive years. It started out as a relatively small effort, but it grew into something much bigger. To some degree, it has turned into the “tail wagging the dog,” a situation where a smaller part is controlling the whole of something.

I do not like the word “hate” and rarely use it, but it’s fitting for the title of this blog commentary. Perhaps “difficult” and “challenging” better describe February to May each year—the time when we create the new report. We “cut the fat” and try to make the report as lean and easy to read and digest as possible, with new and up-to-date information and data. With the recent changes in the industry, it has been a challenge. Our goal is always to be “short on words, but long on information,” when developing the report.

Now, for the love: The report was published 10 days ago, so we recently entered into the “love” phase. Already, we are enjoying the contents of the report and hope that our customers will do the same over the next 12 months. I refer to parts of the report daily for details that have been documented. We use it for many of our projects, investor consultations, and presentations. It helps us to articulate our thoughts and provide perspective in a way that would otherwise be difficult.

My sincere thanks to Wohlers Associates senior consultant and principal co-author Tim Caffrey for his tireless efforts associated with the new edition. I appreciate beyond words the work of the 70 co-authors, many of whom contributed a great deal of time, effort, and insight to the report. And, my thanks to the 82 service providers and 29 system manufacturers that shared detailed information that helped us create industry-wide totals in the form of charts, tables, and summaries. I genuinely hope that all of these people and companies have more of a “love” for this annual publication than anything else.