New Study Reports $1.1 Billion Market for Additive Fabrication Products and Services

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

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.

Steven Adler A3DM
Mukesh Agarwala 3D Product Development (India)
Hidefumi Aoyama Aspect (Japan)
Paulo Jorge Bártolo Institute Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal)
Joseph Beaman University of Texas at Austin
Alain Bernard Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)
David Bourell University of Texas at Austin
Tim Caffrey Seventh Son Creative Services
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling Inc.
Rob Connelly FineLine Prototyping
Deon de Beer Central University of Technology, Free State (South Africa)
Dena Braun Alchemy Models
Rachael Dalton-Taggart Ash Bridge Media
Carl Dekker Met-L-Flo Inc.
Mike Durham Accelerated Technologies
Ismail Fidan Tennessee Tech University
Joe Frascati Mydea Technologies
Boris Fritz Northrop Grumman
Ping Fu Geomagic, Inc.
Vito Gervasi Milwaukee School of Engineering
Ian Gibson National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Tim Gornet University of Louisville
Andrzej Grzesiak FhG Institute for Mfg. Eng. & Automation (Germany)
Joan Guasch ASCAMM (Spain)
Tsuneo Hagiwara CMET Inc. (Japan)
Richard Hague Loughborough University (England)
Berndt Holmer IVF Industrial Research and Development Corp. (Sweden)
Neil Hopkinson Loughborough University (England)
Marjorie Adele Ingle University of Texas at El Paso
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Olivier Jay Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Troy Jensen Piper Jaffray
Rik Knoppers Promolding (The Netherlands)
Toshihiko Maeda NTT Data Engineering Systems Corp. (Japan)
Frank Medina University of Texas at El Paso
Greg Morris Morris Technologies
Tom Mueller Express Pattern
Randall Newton Ash Bridge Media
Charlie Norton NCP Leasing, Inc.
G.D. Janaki Ram Utah State University
Pete Sayki SICAM
Harold Sears Ford Motor Company
Joel Segal University of Nottingham (England)
Michael Siemer Mydea Technologies
Brent Stucker Utah State University
Gordon Styles Star Prototype (China)
Chris Sutcliffe University of Liverpool (England)
Chris Tuck Loughborough University (England)
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Jonas Van Vaerenbergh Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Ryan Wicker University of Texas at El Paso
David Wimpenny De Montfort University (England)
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