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End-to-End AM Workflow

October 4, 2021

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 07:54

By Noah Mostow

Additive manufacturing (AM) is not a one-step process. The manufacturing workflow for metal PBF parts can include 10-15 distinct steps and operations. Each one requires tracking and documenting to maintain a record of activity and efficient workflow. As production scales, something would inevitably get lost without a well-developed and proven system.

Companies in the AM industry are developing and adopting manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions for workflow management. MES platforms help plan and monitor every step in the process. These tools will help 3D printing develop into a reliable manufacturing process and expand into the mainstream. Like order tracking at Domino’s Pizza, companies can monitor the entire workflow of AM parts using MES.

Many small companies have little tracking beyond Excel. In a recent conversation with the CEO of a solutions provider, the executive said the cost for companies to adopt MES is not significant.

Over the past few months, the industry has seen excitement around MES solutions. Materialize acquired the option to buy Link3D, a cloud-based MES company, in July 2021. 3D Systems acquired Oqton in September 2021 for $180 million. At last month’s RAPID + TCT 2021, Markforged released its Eiger Fleet software, a platform for scaling AM operations. Wohlers Associates believes that most users will somehow be impacted by these and other MES offerings in the future, resulting in significant improvements in the AM workflow.

Character and Integrity

March 12, 2017

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 09:35

Character and integrity define a person. People for which I have the most respect have a lot of both. They are true to their word and you can trust they will do what they say. A number of long-time friends and business associates fall into this category. As time passes, I value them more than ever. I do not always agree with their opinions, but my admiration for them remains strong.

We need to do our very best to set an example for others. We cannot waiver or give in to temptation when times become difficult. We need to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. Honesty and following through on promises and commitments are vital. People with good character and integrity gain the respect of others and are happier.

A Note from Tim Caffrey

November 13, 2010

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 17:31

Note: Thanks to Tim Caffrey, associate consultant at our company, for writing the following commentary.


I met Terry Wohlers in 1994, at the head table of the plenary session of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ RP&M ’94 conference, as it was called back then. I was presenting the state of the technology at Boeing, in Seattle, where I ran the in-house Rapid Prototyping Center. It was the largest crowd I’d ever addressed, and though I’d rehearsed my presentation and knew my material intimately, I was nervous.


To Terry, on the other hand, presenting to several hundred people in our nascent industry was old hat, even back then. He held the room’s attention as he carefully and calmly summarized his opinions on the technologies and companies that made up this young but vibrant industry.


Five or six years later, Terry and I corresponded over the once popular rp-ml list server. He was looking for someone to assist him with the Wohlers Report and I was trying to grow my “moonlighting” business in technical writing and editing. With my combination of experience in the additive manufacturing industry and in technical writing, I turned out to be the person for the job.


The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve worked with Terry on his report for 10 years now, edited and updated his CAD textbook for the past six years, and reviewed, edited, and offered my analysis and opinions on many other projects he’s done. Over the years, we’ve forged an enviable working relationship. I am continually impressed by his work ethic and attention to detail.


We’ve now entered a new phase in that relationship, as indicated by last month’s announcement. To help Terry manage his time and workload, my responsibilities with Wohlers Associates have expanded. I am looking forward to a range of new opportunities and intend to apply the same level of hard work and exacting detail that Terry demonstrates.


So, now that I’ve introduced myself informally, please feel free to send me an e-mail to say hello. My address is

Welcome to Wohlers Talk

February 23, 2003

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 07:47

Welcome to the first installment of Wohlers Talk. Its purpose is to give readers snippets of information that I hope are of interest. Many of the postings will relate to rapid product development, but I will occasionally venture into other areas. I hope that you enjoy this addition to the site and return regularly.