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Growth of Metal AM Systems

June 22, 2014

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 11:05

Note: The following was excerpted from “Part 4: Industry Growth” in Wohlers Report 2014.

Additive manufacturing (AM) systems for metal parts are increasing in popularity worldwide, as shown in the following chart. Wohlers Associates has been tracking this market segment for 14 years, but this is only the second time to publish metal-based AM machine unit sales by year in Wohlers Report 2014. As the chart indicates, 348 of these machines were sold in 2013, compared to 198 in 2012—growth of an impressive 75.8%.


The chart shows continued growth through 2006, followed by a multi-year slump. Much of the growth and subsequent decline were due to ExOne’s Imagen dental systems, which made gold copings for crowns and bridges. ExOne made a big push with this system until 2007, when it was pulled from the market. It is believed the company stopped offering the machine due to the increased price of gold and other factors related to cost and market acceptance.

AM Industry Growth

June 7, 2014

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 11:10

Excerpt: The following are the opening paragraphs of “Part 4: Industry Growth” in Wohlers Report 2014.

Growth has accelerated over the past four years as an increasing number of organizations adopt additive manufacturing (AM) products and services. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of worldwide revenues produced by all products and services over the past 25 years is an impressive 27%. The CAGR for the past three years (2011–2013) was 32.3%.

Unit sales of professional-grade, industrial systems strengthened in 2013 after a reasonably strong 2012. Revenues from products were especially strong in 2013 after a solid 2012. Growth of the services segment was good, but not nearly to the extent of product sales growth.

The average selling price of industrial AM systems increased for the third consecutive year. Meanwhile, 2013 growth in sales of low-cost personal 3D printers returned to the triple digits after a less vigorous 2012.

The AM industry has grown in the double digits for 17 of its 26 years. It continues to offer tremendous untapped potential, especially in custom and short-run part production. A product development and manufacturing company may spend 5–10% on design and prototyping for a given product development program. The remaining 90–95% is spent on production—a major reason why so many companies are aggressively pursuing this market segment.

AM system manufacturers and service providers are increasingly offering solutions for the production of parts that go into final products. However, this market segment comes with dramatically higher quality standards than those associated with modeling and prototyping applications. As it continues to develop, the demand for production parts from AM is expected to drive annual revenues to much higher levels. The 2013 figures were strengthened by this developing market segment.