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14th Annual Report

May 9, 2009

Filed under: additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 21:27

I’m in a celebratory mood. Four days ago, we began to ship Wohlers Report 2009, a global study on additive manufacturing (AM). The week of publication, and the weeks leading to it, are more than full. The number of details that must come together can, at times, be a little overwhelming. However, the outstanding people that contribute make it all possible. This year, 54 co-authors from 18 countries provided a wealth of information on the subject. As much as I would like to believe I know what’s going on around the world, one person cannot provide the insight and effort of 54 people spread across four continents.

Support from service providers was also strong this year. Sixty-five companies, compared to 58 last year, provided input. These companies, spanning 15 countries, answered probing questions and provided details and perspective on their businesses. Service providers have been a fixture in the industry since additive manufacturing systems were first introduced in the late 1980s. Many of them continue to push the limits of AM technology and pioneer exciting, new applications. I am thankful for the amount of information these companies share.

Twenty-nine AM system manufacturers from 11 countries provided enormously helpful information on the performance of their companies over the past year. Without it, the report would not have the breadth and depth of detail that we believe it includes. I know it is not easy for some of the them to part with this information, but they understand that if they contribute and work in a spirit of cooperation, they will get more back in return. Much of the detailed information that is provided is kept secret, but it allows us to create and report composite totals and trends that would otherwise not be available for publication.

Coordinating and organizing with all of these people and companies can be a challenge, but it’s nothing compared to the satisfaction I get from all of their generous support. I hope the readers of the report also appreciate what has been provided. It is a gift from them to an industry in which they and others have developed a great deal of passion and excitement. My sincere thanks to everyone involved with this year’s edition.