Wohlers Associates helps organizations take advantage of technologies and strategies that enhance the rapid product development and manufacturing process.
The market for additive fabrication, consisting of all products and services globally, grew 16% to an estimated $1.141 billion in 2007
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, USA, May 1, 2008—Wohlers Associates, Inc. today announced the publication of Wohlers Report 2008, a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the new developments and trends in additive fabrication (AF) worldwide. AF technology encompasses a wide range of applications, including design review, concept modeling, prototyping, pattern making, and tooling. It is also being used to manufacture products that are difficult or impossible to produce any other way.
The market for additive fabrication, consisting of all products and services globally, grew 16% to an estimated $1.141 billion in 2007, according to Wohlers Report 2008. This is up from an estimated $983.7 million generated in 2006. Reaching the $1 billion mark is a first for this industry.
The industry is expected to grow substantially over the next several years. By 2012, annual sales of AF products and services will reach an estimated $2.3 billion worldwide, with unit sales reaching 12,000 systems for the year, according to Wohlers Associates. By 2015, the company believes the industry will grow to an estimated $3.5 billion for the year, with unit sales reaching 20,000 systems.
The larger economic impact, however, will be the thousands of organizations that benefit from AF technology. For example, Graco Children’s Products is capable of producing 7,000–10,000 parts per year—all with four AF systems and one person. Another company, Rockwell Collins, can produce 6,000 parts in a four-month period with one system and one person. A third example is a large manufacturer of toys that asked not to be named. The company produces 12,000 models per year and offers 24-hour and same-day delivery. More than 90% of the work is achieved with several additive systems and a workforce of two people.
“Additive fabrication significantly reduces labor costs, making it much easier for organizations in the West to compete with companies in countries where labor rates are low,” said Terry Wohlers, principal author of Wohlers Report 2008 and president of Wohlers Associates. “This will become especially important as companies apply AF technology to the manufacture of end-use products.”
Increasingly, companies are using AF systems for custom and replacement part manufacturing, special edition products, short-run production, and even series production. They are also being used to produce manufacturing aids, such as jigs, fixtures, and assembly guides, which are used to make products.
A major part of Wohlers Report 2008 discusses manufacturing applications of additive fabrication. The report also presents industry growth estimates, new developments and business opportunities, research and development, and how the industry is likely to develop in the future. The study was created with support from 53 co-authors, 58 service providers, 26 system manufacturers, and many others worldwide. To support the review and analysis, the report includes 31 charts and graphs, 44 tables, and 138 photographs and illustrations.
The 240-page report sells for $475 in the U.S. and $495 in all other countries. The report’s table of contents, as well as additional information on the market and industry, are available at wohlersassociates.com.
Wohlers Associates, Inc. is a 21-year-old independent consulting firm that works closely with manufacturing organizations to identify the best approaches to rapid product development. The company has provided consulting assistance to more than 150 organizations in 20 countries around the world.
Report Development Team
The following individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2008
and served as important sources for information.
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