Blog Menu

Newest Member of Wohlers Associates

May 9, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,future — Terry Wohlers @ 09:45

By Stephan Mansour

Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed unique and challenging projects. My 17 years of experience in the construction sector for a major general contractor based in Athens, Greece, were no exception. My role involved exploring and enabling the adoption of innovative construction solutions that most notably culminated with a 3D-printed house project in Saudi Arabia in 2018. 

Additive construction is something I take to heart. It is the main reason I took it upon myself to create a global committee to set standards for the sector. Nothing in construction happens without standards. They will support adoption of 3D printing as a tool in construction and ensure the delivery of high-quality and safe structures.

The committee I convened officially became JG 80 under ISO/TC 261—ASTM F42 in March 2021. We are working toward publishing the standard by the end of 2022. This is notable because the process can take three to five years.

My involvement with additive construction standards evolved in mid-2021 with my appointment as vice chair to the ASTM F42.07.07 subcommittee. Several work items were recently registered as WK74302, WK77614, WK78110, and WK81114.

I am excited to be part of the esteemed Wohlers Associates’ team. I look forward to engaging in more challenging projects that advance the construction sector, specifically as it relates to additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

ASTM F42 and ISO/TC 261 Meeting

April 2, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,education,event — Terry Wohlers @ 07:06

The spring joint meeting of the ASTM International Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies and the ISO/TC 261 Committee on Additive Manufacturing (AM) took place recently. It was held in Golden, Colorado at the Colorado School of Mines from March 28 to April 1, 2022. The meeting was held in hybrid format with both in-person and virtual options. About 100 people attended in-person and an estimated 200 virtually.

Many of those present spoke favorably of the in-person format after two years of virtual meetings. In the first few years following the founding of ASTM F42 in 2009, the focus of the joint meetings was meeting in person to discuss, draft, and proposed new AM standards. Today, the meetings consist largely of reporting of standards development between meetings. This reflects greater involvment and the large number of working groups engaged in the process. On the first day, the ASTM International AM Center of Excellence held a Snapshot Workshop on post-processing, inspection, and qualification.

ASTM International Snapshot Workshop

Meetings throughout the week included 18 ASTM sessions, four ISO sessions, and 15 joint ISO/ASTM sessions. Topics included applications, design, materials, processes, terminology, test methods, and environmental health and safety. Progress reports were the main purpose of the sessions. A total of 69 ASTM standards are in process and working their way toward balloting for the voting membership. An additional 13 standards are being developed by ASTM/ISO joint groups. The next joint meeting will be held September 18-23, 2022 in Augsburg, Germany.

Wohlers Report 2022

March 19, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 14:37

Creating Wohlers Report 2022 would have been impossible without our team of 93 experts and 250 contributing organizations from around the world. The publication requires months of a coordinated planning and effort among the principal and associate authors, contributors, and many others. A key differentiator of Wohlers Report 2022 is the 27 years of data and relationships used to create the undisputed, industry-leading report.

Securing industry data is one of the most challenging parts of creating the report, but also one of the most rewarding. All data received from organizations is confidential. The only exception is unit sales from system manufacturers. Over the history of creating the Wohlers Report, we have gained a trust from these organizations and they know their data is safe. We spend countless hours with the data better understand the additive manufacturing industry. We also use it to create composite totals and trends that are presented in many charts and graphs.

Another distinguisher ofthe Wohlers Report is the contributions from industry experts. For this year’s edition, we received sections from 85 people from 33 countries. Many focused on their country and what is happening on the ground. Our rule for the entire history of the report has been to be “short on words, but long on information.” The result has been succinct quantitative and qualitative information that cannot be found elsewhere. The contributions provide unparalleled insight from experts in many areas of research, technology development, hands-on practice, business, and government.

The report could not have been created without the fine work from our authors and editors. Ian Campbell coordinated the contributors and collected the most up-to-date information. Olaf Diegel focused mostly on Parts 3 and 4 and helped analyze a mountain of new data. Joseph Kowen collected additional information and insights, part of which was based on his weekly contribution to the Wohlers Weekly intelligence briefing. Ismail Fidan collected new information from academic and research institutions to create what is believed to be the largest collection of activities at these organizations. Technical editor Dave Bourell and proofreader Jenny van Rensburg worked tireless to ensure an interesting, and accurate, error-free report.

A big thank you to everyone that helped make Wohlers Report 2022 a reality. Order your report today.

Newest Member of Wohlers Associates

March 6, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 15:49

by Shane Collins

The first time I saw additive manufacturing (AM) was in late 1999 at 3D Systems in the Valencia, California. A stereolithography machine was near the end of a build cycle. I recall seeing parts rise out of a vat of liquid photopolymer. My first position in the AM industry was aerospace market segment manager at 3D Systems. I had previously been involved in high-tech scientific instruments.

My work in consensus standards started in 2009 while working at Arcam, later acquired by GE. I was told by several aerospace companies that for the adoption of electron beam melting, a material standard was needed. ASTM Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies was formed in 2009. As part of the committee, I registered the first work item (WK30522) for metal AM processes. The standard was published as F2924 in 2012.

I was appointed the chair of the F42.05 Subcommittee on Materials and Process in 2012. We developed many standards on materials and processes over the course of the next 10 years. In my spare time, I am currently the chair of the F42.07 Subcommittee on Applications in AM.

I was surprised but pleased to learn that ASTM acquired Wohlers Associates. It is giving me the opportunity to work with a talented team as a senior associate consultant. I plan to use my experience in polymer and metal AM to help companies prevent the mistakes others have made. I look forward to working with our new clients and talking additive manufacturing. 

3D Printing at the Winter Olympics

February 20, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,event — Terry Wohlers @ 17:22

by Noah Mostow

This weekend marks the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. I am always impressed by the athletes. Nils van der Poel of Sweden broke his previous world record for speed skating the 10 km (6.2 miles). The U.S. team will return home with many metals in several events, including freestyle skiing and the monobob. Race times continue to improve, which makes me think about David Epstein’s 2014 TED Talk titled “Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?”

Most producers of athletic equipment are likely using additive manufacturing (AM) for prototyping but rarely for production. For the most part, the equipment is similar and highly regulated, so the performance of the athletes is ranked by talent and skill. However, I learned that this is not the case for some sports, such as bobsledding. Beyond baseline requirements, such as safety, weight, and some elements of design, the teams can work with engineers to improve the aerodynamics and features of the sled.

This was the first year for the women’s monobob. Women race at 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) and all sleds are the same. The only differences are the women pushing and driving the sled. However, some athletes may gain some an advantage from their shoes. BMW Group has worked to optimize the spikes for the shoes. In the monobob, it may not have had a favorable impact because the U.S. won gold and silver and Canada won bronze. I like the excitement surrounding the Olympics and hope that as the equipment improves, every team can benefit from the new technology.

I Knew So Little

February 5, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,education,future — Terry Wohlers @ 06:00

by Noah Mostow

The first time I used a 3D printer was in the library basement when working on my undergraduate degree. Late at night, when I should have been studying, I noticed a small desktop 3D printer with a light turned on. Filament was loaded and nobody was around. As with many college students, I wanted to tinker with it. I downloaded an entire chess set from Thingiverse and Googled “How do you use a 3D printer?” I found free slicing software online, and for the next few hours, I watched parts get built one at a time.

I never finished the chess set because the 3D printer was moved into an office a few days later and they began to charge students for its use. Looking back at this experience, I never would have imagined what else was happening back then, such as the Wohlers Report having been published for 18 years. Industrial additive manufacturing (AM) was already widespread, and in the library basement that night, I thought I was on the leading edge of technology.

Nearly 35 years since its inception, the AM industry continues to grow impressively. Today, students are graduating that know little about the technology. Yet, many now have access to industrial systems in engineering programs and libraries. Today, the University of Vermont (my alma matter) has eight material extrusion (MEX) systems and a vat photopolymerization system in a FabLab for student use.

Beyond students, I imagine many professionals outside our industry believe that polymer MEX is at the leading edge of what is possible. Being a part of the ASTM International AM Center of Excellence, I am excited about the education and workforce development team led by experts. With AM education, more people will see new applications and what advancements are possible.

Note: In a previous post, I wrote that the first 3D-printed part I made was at Burton Snowboards. This is incorrect. The first part I made on an industrial powder bed fusion system was at Burton.

Center of Excellence is Driving Innovation

January 23, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,future — Terry Wohlers @ 17:11

by Mohsen Seifi

The Additive Manufactuirng Centre of Excellence (AM CoE) is a unique program to accelerate standardization through focused research at ASTM International. It has gained significant interest from the AM community over the past three years. I often heard that a lack of standards delays broad adoption of AM. The development of consensus-based standards requires significant time. The primary reason is an absence of robust and reliable data to establish standards. Hence, we introduced the concept of Research-to-Standards, the first of its kind from any standard development organization. The goal is to reduce AM standards development time by providing the required data through research. The idea is now becoming a reality. With the first few rounds of research projects, we have demonstrated the impact of the program.

Knowledge is key. We realize the AM community needs to be empowered to understand the capabilities of AM and to generate interest to follow the technology as it expands. So, we took the mission of educating the workforce at all levels through webinars, formal training, conferences, and workshops. The scope of the AM CoE further expands to certification programs, and industry consortium. All of this is with a common goal of maximizing the potential of 3D printing as a next-generation method of manufacturing.

The future is exciting for the AM CoE. We are moving fast to catch up with the pace at which the AM technology is growing. We want to be a catalyst in driving the growth of AM by collaborating with the best minds in the industry. Several programs have been planned for 2022 to engage with the community and provide access to a wider network of experts. The AM CoE, has a vibrant, dynamic, and energized team of experts to explore all the possibilities to serve the industry and meet new challenges.

Looking Back on 2021

December 12, 2021

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,event,travel — Terry Wohlers @ 14:10

by Noah Mostow

This past year has been interesting, exciting, and different than I had expected. At the beginning of the year, COVID-19 cases were spiking and now the omicron variant is spreading globally. I feel so fortunate we have been able to gather at industry events, including America Makes TRX, Formnext, ICAM, and RAPID + TCT, to name a few. Thank you to the organizers for creating the space for the AM industry to come together again. By mid-summer, things were improving, but it looks like COVID-19 could affect our lives for years to come.

The pandemic taught many of us how to work remotely. Even so, it cannot entirely replace in-person networking and collaboration. Even so, I believe the pandemic has made us more resilient while working globally nearly daily. The economy has mostly recovered, yet some supply chains continue to struggle.

We cannot look back at this year without noting the influx of acquisitions and initial public offerings. Desktop Metal acquired Envisiontec, Aerosint, and ExOne. 3D Systems acquired Oqton, a producer of a manufacturing execution system, while selling its surgical simulation and service provider businesses. At one point, we began to wonder if multiple AM-related companies would be acquired each month. Wohlers Associates was acquired by ASTM International in Q4 2021.

The year was also active for companies going public, with six having initial public offerings through mergers with special purpose acquisition companies. It is too early to know how this might impact the industry.

Make sure to listen to the latest episode from the Wohlers Audio Series. Melissa Orme, vice president of additive manufacturing at Boeing, provided thought-provoking ideas and insight. You can find it at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and our website.

Formnext 2021

November 28, 2021

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,education,event,manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 07:40

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a special 21-page report on some of the most interesting developments and recent trends uncovered at Formnext 2021. It was written exclusively for the members of America Makes. Go to this page to learn more about membership. Twelve individuals from ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence contributed to the report.

Thankfully, Formnext is back in-person. This year, 17,859 people from 76 countries attended the four-day exposition in Frankfurt, Germany. This represents a decline from 2019, but several of the 606 exhibitors said the quality of conversations was better, compared to two years ago. The exhibition was spread across three halls, covering 30,000 sq m (322,917 sq ft) of floor space.

One day prior to the exposition, an international gathering of industry experts convened for the Standards Forum at Formnext. It was organized by U.S. Commercial Service, ASTM International, and ISO in partnership with Mesago, the organizers of Formnext. The full-day event focused on the industrialization of AM through standardization.

Software companies presented new design platforms and manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions. Many software products have emerged, almost to a point where it is becoming crowded. Users often must work with and coordinate between multiple products to produce designs for AM.

From our perspective, the event was a major success. The AM industry is advancing with new and improving materials, processes, applications, workflows, and end-to-end solutions. Formnext 2021 Digital Days will be held virtually November 30 – December 1, 2021. Formnext 2022 is planned for November 15–18, 2022, in Frankfurt.

ASTM International Has Acquired Wohlers Associates

November 15, 2021

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,future — Terry Wohlers @ 10:15

by Terry Wohlers

ASTM International, a global leader in the development of consensus standards, has acquired Wohlers Associates. I could not be happier about the acquisition! Our primary goal was to find a great home and future for our products and services. ASTM International has committed to growing and expanding them for many years to come. I know our current offerings, including the Wohlers Report, will now continue beyond my years.

Wohlers Associates is integrating with ASTM International’s fast-growing Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (CoE), which is based in Washington, DC. The AM CoE is focused on transitioning research to applications through standardization. Also, it supports education and workforce development and provides advisory services. This work supports the growth, maturity, and economic success of the AM industry. With ASTM International’s focus and investment in AM, I am ecstatic about what is ahead.

Together, we can accept a wider range of projects with a larger team to support them. We are already working closely with the technical experts at the AM CoE. As the head of Additive Manufacturing Market Intelligence, I will help create new opportunities for advisory services, publications, education and training, and industry briefings. I will also be involved with the development of the Wohlers Report.

This month marks the 35th anniversary of Wohlers Associates. It has been a fantastic run, but I am not leaving the industry any time soon. I could not be more pleased to be a part of ASTM International and work with the fine people at the organization over the next several years. Stay tuned for more great things to come.

Next Page »