Order your copy today!

Wohlers Report 2011

Trends... Analysis... Commentary. Commentary. Additive Manufacturing and 3d Printing State of the Industry Year 2011 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

Wohlers Report 2011, available as a color PDF, provides a review and analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing worldwide.

Access the Executive Summary before you buy.

Get Access

Complete this form to Access the Executive Summary

Executive Summary PDF Download

ISBN 0-9754429-7-X

The 270-page report was written for product development and manufacturing professionals and organizations worldwide. Among the groups that have found past editions useful are company owners, executive management, engineering managers, prototyping supervisors, service providers, system manufacturers, researchers, educators, the investment community, analysts, and the media. This edition marks the 16th consecutive year of its publication.

The report was developed with help from 58 co-authors, 70 service providers, 32 system manufacturers, and many others worldwide. To support the review and analysis, the publication includes 43 charts and graphs, 60 tables, 176 photographs and illustrations, and eight appendices.

This study has established a tradition of covering all facets of additive manufacturing, including business, product, market, technology, research, and application.

Table of Contents

About the principal author
Focus of this report
Introduction to additive manufacturing and 3D printing


  • History of additive manufacturing
    • The past 12 months
  • Industries and regions benefiting from AM processes
    • How companies are applying AM processes
    • Installations by country
  • Applications
    • Custom manufacturing
    • Communication
    • Engineering changes
    • Powerful ideas and proposals
    • Concept models
    • Verifying CAD databases
    • Styling and ergonomics
    • Fit and functional testing
    • Prototyping
    • Metal castings
    • Requests for quotes
    • Tooling
    • Biomanufacturing
    • Unlimited potential


  • Revenue growth
    • Products and services
    • Growth percentages
    • Material sales
    • Service providers
    • Secondary market
    • Other services
  • Revenue forecast
  • Industrial system unit sales
    • Unit sales growth percentages
    • Market shares
    • Systems sold by region
    • Market shares by manufacturer
    • Unit sales by manufacturer and year
    • Forecast
  • Personal systems
  • Service providers
    • Industry survey
    • Economic recovery
    • The future


  • Arcam
  • Bits From Bytes
  • Concept Laser
  • Delta Micro Factory Corp.
  • DWS
  • Envisiontec
  • EOS
    • Advanced materials
    • DMLS molds
    • New developments
  • Ex One
  • Fab@Home
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Honeywell
  • Huntsman
  • Irepa Laser
  • MakerBot Industries
  • Mcor
  • MTT Technologies
    • SLM materials and machines
    • Selective laser printing
  • Objet Geometries
    • New desktop 3D printers
    • New materials
    • Other developments
  • Optomec
  • Phenix Systems
  • POM
  • ReaLizer
  • RepRap
  • Sintermask
  • SLM Solutions
  • Solidica
  • Solido
  • Solidscape
  • Stratasys
    • Urbee hybrid vehicle
    • HP partnership
    • Other developments
    • ISO certification
  • 3D Systems
    • Acquisitions
    • 3D printers
    • Other business
  • Voxeljet
  • Z Corp.
    • New systems
    • New material
    • Other developments
  • Coatings and other treatments
  • Investor update
    • Revenues and earnings
    • Outlook


  • Asia/Pacific
    • Major players
    • Chinese machines
    • Taiwanese machine
    • Korean machines
    • India
  • Japan
    • Stereolithography
    • FDM
    • Laser sintering
    • Service providers
    • AM for end-use part production
  • Australasia
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
    • France
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • The Netherlands
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Belgium
    • Portugal
    • Slovenia
    • Austria
  • Other regions
    • South Africa
    • Brazil
    • Groups and associations


  • Materials
    • Material properties
    • New microstructures
  • Direct metal parts
    • Laser-based, powder-bed systems
    • Powder deposition systems
    • Other approaches
    • Materials testing and international standards
  • Cast metal parts
    • Investment casting
    • Sand, V-Process, and plaster mold casting
    • Systems that create molds and cores directly
    • Die casting
  • Tooling solutions
  • High-performance tooling
  • Direct tooling approaches
    • DMLS
    • Laser consolidation
    • FDM tooling
  • Indirect tooling approaches
    • Silicone rubber tooling
    • Other options
  • Alternatives
    • CNC-machined tooling
    • Hybrid tooling


  • Changing the way you manufacture
  • Why use AM for production?
    • Reduction of tooling
    • Part consolidation
    • Part quality
    • ASTM International
  • Design for additive manufacturing
    • A new way of thinking
    • Consumer design
  • Cost analysis and economics
    • Production implications
    • Strategic implications
  • Environmental considerations
    • Raw material and waste
    • Manufacture
    • Distribution and retail
    • Consumer use
    • Disposal and recycling
    • Enlighten project
    • Looking ahead
  • Intellectural property implications
    • Limited applicability of IP
    • Contributory liability for patent infringement
    • Increased importantce of trademark
    • Conclusion
  • Product liability implications
  • Industrial products made by AM
    • Aerospace
    • Automotive and motor sports
    • Machinery
    • Medical
    • Manufacturing and assembly tools
  • Consumer products made by AM
    • Games and entertainment
    • Furniture, home, and office accessories
    • Consumer-created products
    • Art and jewelry
    • Gifts, awards, and trophies
    • Marketing and advertising
    • Museum displays
    • Fashion products
  • Consumer challenges and opportunities
  • Future consumer growth potential
  • Required research and development
    • AM processes
    • AM materials and related considerations
    • Organization, management, and supply chain issues
  • Growth


  • CAD solid modeling
    • PTC jettisons Pro/Engineer brand
    • CAD models go mobile
    • CAD/PLM revenue: happy days are here again
    • Seat count estimates more art than science
  • Medical applications
    • Anatomical and surgical models
    • Medical imaging options
    • Medical imaging-processing software
    • Materials for medical modeling
    • AM methods for medical modeling
    • Regulatory clearance of AM products
    • Patient case: custom hip implant
    • Custom implants versus custom instruments
    • Direct production of acetabular cups
    • Case study: virtual surgical planning
  • 3D scanning and reverse engineering
    • 3D-scanning applications
    • 3D-scanning hardware
    • Hardware limitations
    • Processing software


  • Patents
  • Technology development
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • National Science Foundation
    • Meso, micro, and nanoscale technology
    • Basic research on existing AM technology
    • Educational programs
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Defense
  • College and university education and research
    • Educational activities in additive manufacturing
    • Research and teaching
    • Institutions with AM capabilities
    • Future trends and contributions


  • Professional markets
    • Orthopedic implants
    • Dental products
    • Aerospace
  • Consumer markets
    • Shapeways
    • Other possibilities
  • New approaches to design
    • Topology optimization
    • Metal parts
  • Mainstream additive manufacturing
  • Challenges
    • Choice and cost of materials
    • Industry consolidation
  • The future
  • Where to learn more


  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: System and material manufacturers
    • Canada
    • China
    • England
    • France
    • Germany
    • Ireland
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • United States
  • Appendix C: U.S. system specifications
  • Appendix D: Systems manufactured outside the U.S.
  • Appendix E: Material properties
  • Appendix F: Direct metal AM comparison matrix
  • Appendix G: 3D scanning systems
  • Appendix H: 3D scan processing software

The following 58 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2011 and served as important sources for information.

Mukesh Agarwala 3D Product Development (India)
Joe Benatmane Econolyst (England)
Paulo Jorge Bártolo Institute Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal)
Joseph Beaman University of Texas at Austin
Alain Bernard Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)
Jan Blömer Fraunhofer UMSICHT (Germany)
Mike Burton RMIT University (Australia)
David Bourell University of Texas at Austin
Tim Caffrey Wohlers Associates, Inc.
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling Inc.
Adam Clare University of Nottingham (England)
Deon de Beer Vaal University of Technology (South Africa)
Jason Dickman American Precision Prototyping
Olaf Diegel Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)
Igor Drstvenšek University of Maribor (Slovenia)
Pablo Elenter Robtec (Brazil)
Ismail Fidan Tennessee Tech University
Joe Frascati Prototype Productions, Inc.
Ping Fu Geomagic, Inc.
Michael Gayk York Technical College
Jim Gentrup Discovery Investment Research
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)
Richard Hague Loughborough University (England)
Ola Harrysson North Carolina State University
Forrest Higgs Brosis Innovations, Inc
Johannes Homa Austria
Neil Hopkinson Loughborough University (England)
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Olivier Jay Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Jason Jones De Montfort University (England)
Ulf Lindhe netfabb (Germany)
Frank Medina University of Texas at El Paso
Jorge Mireles University of Texas at El Paso
Greg Morris Morris Technologies
Tom Mueller Express Pattern
Randall Newton Jon Peddie Research
John Obielodan Utah State University
Joris Peels i.materialise (Belgium)
Phil Reeves Econolyst (England)
Monica Savalani Hong Kong Polytechnic University (China)
Kevin Scofield Geomagic, Inc.
Joel Segal University of Nottingham (England)
Michael Siemer Mydea Technologies Corp.
Ian Stewart Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker
Brent Stucker University of Louisville
Chris Tuck Loughborough University (England)
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Bart van de Vorst TNO (Netherlands)
Jonas Van Vaerenbergh LayerWise (Belgium)
Michael Weinberg Public Knowledge
Ryan Wicker University of Texas at El Paso
Jonathan Wilke Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology
David Wimpenny De Montfort University (England)

What Others are Saying

“I read an excerpt from Wohlers Report 2011 and then spoke with Terry by phone. In less than 30 minutes, I had more industry insights than I had gleaned across dozens of blogs and news sites.”
TJ McCue, Forbes

“I received your report this week and I am completely impressed with the depth, variety, and detail. It will be an invaluable reference for the classes and presentations that I am currently developing for our division. It’s just MAGNIFICENT really!”
Jim Horton, CAD/CAM Systems Specialist, Central Piedmont Community College

“I love it. There is no other way to get such in-depth, relevant information that is also up to date. I have read through most of the report and it’s great work, Terry.”
Rob Connelly, President, FineLine Prototyping, Inc.

“The report is amazing.”
Michael Raphael, President, Direct Dimensions, Inc.

“It has become the bible in additive manufacturing.”
     Mario FleurinckCEO, Melotte (Belgium)

“I can’t believe how much information from around the world you absorb and then present in such easy-to-understand terms year after year.”
Bene Padovani, Brazil

“Wow, you have really created a massive resource over the years. The contributions from the industry specialists have helped produce an industry encyclopedia.”
Randall Newton, Editor-in-Chief, CADCAMnet, and Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, AECnews

“The amount of information in the report is almost overwhelming. I am awed by its depth and breadth. What’s more, the information is not available anywhere else. For example, we hear how China is changing, but few people fully understand the transformation that’s underway. The report gives insight and clarification on China and it covers the rest of the world with the same careful analysis. It also provides insight into new products and applications that you normally would not hear about, such as light-weight structures, nanomanufacturing, growing organs, gaming, and new types of protective gear. One of the secrets of your success is the extensive travel worldwide, coupled with the information you seek from experts globally. Thank you for making something so remarkable available each year.”
Boris Fritz, Northrop Grumman

“It is taking some time to get through your report because I’m underlining all the useful information and using it in my company’s internal reports. Thanks, … it is really a fantastic job.”
Dr. Livia Cevolini, CRP Technology (Italy)

“The report is a real mine of information. It is impressive how you manage to collate all this information.”
Dr. Mike Shellabear, EOS (Germany)

“Terry Wohlers is the spokesperson for the overall rapid prototyping industry. Every year, he publishes the Wohlers Report, a comprehensive rundown of advances. He represents better than anyone else the mainstream prototyping industry.”
Dr. Preston Smith, Lead Co-author of Developing Products in Half the Time

“If you need to know anything about where this technology is today or where it is going tomorrow, Wohlers Report is your guide.”
Anthony J. Lockwood, former editorial director, Desktop Engineering

“Your report was very highly valued as we conducted our due diligence prior to acquiring Z Corp. It is highly professional and understandable, even to those new to this industry.”
Steen Borg, former CEO, The Contex Group (Denmark)

“I have purchased market reports in other industries for $30,000 that do not contain as much information. The purchase of the Wohlers Report every year is a no-brainer.”
Gilles Desharnais, Axis Prototypes Inc.

“The Wohlers Report is the world’s best compilation of activity in the field.”
Dr. David Bourell, University of Texas at Austin

“The wealth of information is astounding, but not as astounding as the amount of research that must be performed each year to put it together.”
Al Dean, Prototype Magazine (England)

“I found it extremely useful in the preparation of a presentation to upper management. Also, the report has caught the interest of many of my colleagues in R&D.”
Patrick Roth, Elkay Manufacturing Company

“His extremely comprehensive annual report is considered the definitive analysis of the rapid prototyping world and is highly recommended.”
David Cohn, Engineering Automation Report

“Nothing comes close to the authoritative and comprehensive nature of this annually-updated report. It has something for everybody and I highly recommend it.”
Jeffrey Rowe, MCADCafe.com

“The report was priceless in developing our business plan.”
Jason Epstein, Ionic Models

“I use it as a reference for any and all rapid prototyping questions I get that I cannot answer on my own. It is the most resourceful and complete publication we had ever seen.”
Kristopher Matson, St. Louis Community College

“I was in the market for a new machine for rapid prototyping and bought the report as an insurance policy. It definitely paid off.”
Kurt Blankemeyer, GTO

“The report offers the most up-to-date information that is available to us and it continues to improve each year.”
Ranji Vaidyanathan, Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc.

“It’s a great, concise report that covers the globe. I don’t know of any other document that is as complete.”
Tom Greaves, New Directions Consulting

“You are providing a valuable service to the industry.”
Brent Ragsdale, Hallmark

“As always, you have done a spectacular job collecting information from around the world on our ever-changing industry. I commend you on the depth and breadth of your labors.”
Marina Hatsopoulos, founder of Z Corp.

“Very easy to read. It gave me just what I was looking for.”
Douglas Freitag, Bayside Materials Technology

“Whether one is thinking of purchasing a prototyping device, checking into the sales of a particular company for investment purposes, or just desiring more information, Wohlers’ report delivers at every level.”
Joe Greco, Desktop Engineering Magazine

“It is comprehensive, well organized, and well written. We will be pouring over the details for some time to come.”
Mike Rynerson, Ex One Corp.

“The report gave me the best and most concise view of the industry.”
Reagan Hogerty, Jordan Industries, Inc.

“The report has helped our company immensely in selling rapid prototyping and tooling internally to our design, manufacturing, and management staff.”
Glenn Anderson, Southco Inc.

“The section on rapid tooling is particularly interesting. Wohlers systematically looks at all the competing technologies on the market today and provides detailed information on how to best apply each of them.”
Engineering Automation Report

“I wonder if the industry knows how fortunate it is to have this mirror? Few industries of this size and complexity have access to this level of data.”
Ed Grenda, Castle Island Company

“The report has become a virtual “Bible” of rapid prototyping … comprehensive and well organized … and is highly recommended.”
David Cohn, Engineering Automation Report

“I’ve just finished reading through the report and I have to say I’m impressed with the shear quantity of information it contains. It has become the bible to those looking at rapid prototyping and related technologies.”
Al Dean, MCAD Magazine and the CADserver (England)

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...

Learn More

Education and Workforce Development

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

Learn More