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 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 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.

The picture is not entirely rosy. Some system manufacturers fail to offer RP products at price/performance levels that CAD/CAM users have come to expect. Others consume valuable company resources as they fight to protect their intellectual property. Meanwhile, the industry is beginning to consolidate and mature as RP becomes a critical part of everyday business at many companies, particularly in the U.S.

Market Expansion

From January 1988 through December 1993, growth of RP system sales was an estimated 51 percent per year, on average, compounded annually. The past three years, however, growth has averaged 26.5 percent. Last year, it grew 28.1 percent. Still, this is excellent, especially compared to the growth rate of the CNC and machine tool markets in their early years. From 1970 to 1981, for example, the CNC market grew at an annual compounded rate of 22 percent, on average, according to Julius Dorfman of CIMdata, Inc. Between 1963 and 1973, the overall machine tool market grew an average of only 8.5 percent per year. Wohlers Associates expects worldwide RP system sales to exceed 36 percent compound annual growth in 1994. See Appendix B for more information.

According to CAD/CAM Publishing, the number of SBs increased over the past 12-18 months from about 80 worldwide (50 in the U.S.) to about 105 (63 in the U.S.). If you add in the remaining D-MEC and CMET SBs in Japan, the number increases to about 111 total. As RP applications grow and the technology improves, more companies will give it a try. The easiest and most economical way is to use a service bureau. This means that a company's first experience with RP will most likely be with a SB.

Published as part of SME's Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing '93 Conference Proceedings

Rapid prototyping (RP) systems offer a wealth of new possibilities in engineering and manufacturing. Users of RP have saved impressive amounts of money and time, while enhancing the product design and manufacturing process. Organizations use these systems for conceptual modeling, design verification, and fit and function testing. In addition, they show RP parts to customers and potential customers, and send RP parts with requests for bids to their subcontractors. RP users also produce patterns for silicone rubber and epoxy tooling and sand, plaster and investment castings.

Learn more about ASTM and AM CoE

ASTM unites with the Wohlers brand to build on its market influence and access to top AM industry decision-makers worldwide.

  • Establish standards, certification, and qualification for repeatable, consistent parts and processes
  • Prevent gaps and duplication of work in a dynamic, fast-paced technology space
  • Identify challenges that can be solved with technological improvement

Research and Development

Under the leadership of the R&D team, the AM CoE partners plan and conduct coordinated R&D projects, prioritized annually and targeted to expedite...

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Education and Workforce Development

Provide a comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances...

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