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Wohlers Report 2017

Trends... Analysis... Commentary. Commentary. Additive Manufacturing and 3d Printing State of the Industry Year 2017 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

Wohlers Report 2017, available as a color PDF and printed/bound version, provides a worldwide review and analysis of additive manufacturing and 3D printing—terms that are used interchangeably.

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ISBN 978-0-9913332-3-3

This edition marks the 22nd consecutive year of publication. The report has served as the undisputed industry-leading report on the subject for more than two decades. Many have referred to it as the “bible” of 3D printing.

The report was developed with the support of 100 service providers, 61 system manufacturers, and 19 producers of third-party materials and desktop 3D printers. It documents government-sponsored research and development, collaborations and consortia, and the activities of 113 academic and 11 research institutes around the world.

The report has benefited from the important contributions of 76 co-authors and contributors in 31 countries. Wohlers Associates is fortunate to have developed what is believed to be the largest worldwide network of friends and contacts in the industry. This access and trust has resulted in a report that offers an unparalleled window into additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

The 344-page Wohlers Report 2017 includes 28 charts and graphs, 26 tables, and 232 images and illustrations. It also includes more than 160 pages of supplemental online content available exclusively to the buyers of the report.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • About the principal authors
    • Associate authors


  • Focus of this report
  • Introduction to additive manufacturing and 3D printing
  • History of additive manufacturing
    • 1960s to the modern era
    • April 2016 through March 2017
  • Industries, applications, and regions
    • Industries
    • Applications
    • Installations by country
  • Growth of CAD solid modeling


  • Processes
    • Material extrusion
    • Material jetting
    • Binder jetting
    • Sheet lamination
    • Vat photopolymerization
    • Powder bed fusion
    • Directed energy deposition
  • Post-processing
    • General post-processing
    • Post-processing of metal parts
  • Materials
    • Polymers
    • Pricing
    • Metals
    • Making metal powders for AM
    • Composites and hybrid materials
    • Materials for metal-casting processes
    • Ceramics and other materials
    • New polymer products
    • New metal products
    • Materials testing and international standards
  • Process/material matrix


  • Additive Industries
  • AddUp
  • Arcam
  • Aspect
  • Carbon
  • Carima
  • Cincinnati
  • Concept Laser
  • DWS
  • Envisiontec
  • EOS
  • ExOne
  • Farsoon
  • Formlabs
  • GE Additive
  • HP
  • Lithoz
  • Markforged
  • Mcor
  • Optomec
  • Prodways
  • ReaLizer
  • Renishaw
  • Sciaky
  • Sisma
  • SLM Solutions
  • Solidscape
  • Stratasys
  • Tiertime
  • Trumpf
  • 3D Systems
  • Voxeljet
  • Xery
  • Other companies in Asia/Pacific
    • Asiga
    • Bright Laser Technologies
    • CMET
    • D-MEC
    • EPlus 3D
    • Huake 3D
    • InssTek
    • Hengtong
    • Keyence
    • Long Yuan
    • Matsuura
    • Microjet
    • Prismlab
    • Ricoh
    • Rokit
    • Sentrol
    • Sodick
    • Structo
    • TPM
    • UnionTech
    • Zhuhai CTC
  • Other companies in Europe and the Middle East
    • Apium
    • Arburg
    • BeAM
    • BigRep
    • DMG Mori
    • Do3D
    • German RepRap
    • Massivit
    • Nano Dimension
    • Nanoscribe
    • OR Laser
    • Rapid Shape
    • Sharebot
    • Sinterit
    • Sintratec
    • 3DCeram
    • Xjet
  • Other companies in the Americas
    • Autodesk
    • Fabrisonic
    • RPMI
    • Viridis3D
    • Voxel8
  • Additional system manufacturers
  • Process/manufacturer/material matrix
  • New AM machine developments
  • Third-party material producers
    • Open vs. closed material business models
    • List of third-party producers
  • Desktop 3D printers
    • RepRap project
    • Crowdfunding
    • 3D-printed electronics
    • Material recycling
    • Software development
    • Aleph Objects
    • Formlabs
    • MakerBot
    • Printrbot
    • Ultimaker
    • Xery
    • XYZprinting
    • Other 3D printers
    • Delta 3D printers
    • Comparing desktop 3D printers


  • Revenue from AM worldwide
    • Products and services
    • Growth percentages
  • Industrial system unit sales
    • Unit sales growth percentages
    • Market shares
    • Systems sold by region
    • Average selling price
    • Metal AM systems
    • Unit sales by manufacturer and year
  • Desktop 3D printer unit sales
    • Printers put to work
    • Desktop 3D printer ASP
  • AM material sales
    • Photopolymers
    • Laser-sintered polymers
    • Filaments
    • Metals
    • 2017 metals growth outlook
  • Service providers
    • Primary service market
    • Secondary service market
    • Survey results
    • AM technology most likely to purchase
    • Online marketplace
    • Supplier competition
    • Comments from service providers
  • Investment in publicly traded companies
    • Revenues and earnings
    • Outlook


  • Best practices
    • Aerospace
    • Medical
    • Footwear
    • Automotive
  • Benefits of AM for production
    • Reduction of tooling
    • Agile manufacturing operations
    • Decentralized manufacturing
    • Inventory reduction and part consolidation
    • Sustainability and environmental impact
  • Barriers
    • Cost of machine and materials
    • Cost justification
    • Speed and throughput
    • Quality assurance
    • Traditional attitudes
  • Design for additive manufacturing
    • Lightweighting and topology optimization
    • Lattice structures
    • Improved fluid dynamics
  • Educating designers
    • Design guidelines
    • Education curricula and training
  • Polymer AM part production
    • Applications
    • Considerations
    • Outlook
  • Metal AM part production
    • Quality and performance improvements
    • Cost improvements
    • Delivery and lead time improvements
  • Metal part production cost considerations
  • Process monitoring in metal powder bed fusion
    • R&D projects
    • Aconity3D
    • Arcam
    • Concept Laser
    • EOS
    • SLM Solutions
    • Sigma Labs
    • Outlook


  • Asia
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • Singapore
    • Taiwan
  • Australasia
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
  • Europe
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Turkey
    • United Kingdom
  • Middle East
    • Egypt
    • Israel
    • Other countries
  • Other regions
    • Brazil
    • Canada
    • South Africa


  • Trends
  • Patents
  • Legal implications
  • Corporate R&D
  • Consortia and collaborations
    • America Makes
    • Government Organization on Additive Manufacturing
    • Additive Manufacturing Consortium
    • Direct Manufacturing Research Center
    • Project TEAMM
  • AM standards
    • ASTM International Committee F42
    • ISO/TC 261
    • CEN/TC 438
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • National Science Foundation
    • Basic research on AM technology
    • Meso, micro, and nanoscale technology
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Defense
  • U.S. national laboratories
    • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Government-sponsored R&D in Europe
  • Academic activities and capabilities
    • AM educational activities
    • Research innovations
    • Asia/Pacific
    • Europe
    • Middle East
    • North America
    • Other regions
    • Research institutes with AM capabilities
    • Future trends and contributions


  • AM ecosystem of the future
    • Infrastructure investment
    • Feedstock capacity
    • Supply chain
    • Product innovation
    • Process and part integrity
    • Automation
  • Market opportunity and forecast
    • Global manufacturing economy
    • 3D printing’s place in history
  • Summary
    • Maturing mindset
    • An exciting future


  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: System and material suppliers
  • Appendix C: System specifications
  • Appendix D: Desktop 3D printers
  • Appendix E: Material properties
  • Appendix F: Metal AM comparison matrix
  • Appendix G: AM software tools
  • Appendix H: 3D scanning systems
  • Appendix I: 3D scan-processing software

Report Development Team

The following 76 individuals and organizations in 31 countries contributed to Wohlers Report 2017 and served as important sources for information.

Principal authors:

Ian Campbell (UK), Olaf Diegel (Sweden), Joseph Kowen (Israel), and Terry Wohlers (U.S.)

Associate authors:

Ismail Fidan (U.S.) and David Bourell (U.S.)

Guido Adam Direct Manufacturing Research Center Germany
Mukesh Agarwala 3D Product Development India
Nuno Alves Polytechnic Institute of Leiria Portugal
Nic Balc Technical University of Cluj–Napoca Romania
Tyler Benster Asimov Ventures U.S.
Alain Bernard Ecole Centrale de Nantes France
Kris Binon Flam3D Belgium
Klas Boivie SINTEF Norway
Gerrie Booysen Central University of Technology South Africa
Paul Boulware EWI U.S.
David Brackett Manufacturing Technology Centre UK
Bob Bradley RJ Bradley Consulting UK
Milan Brandt RMIT University Australia
William Cass Cantor Colburn U.S.
Andy Christensen Somaden LLC U.S.
Chee Kai Chua Nanyang Technological University Singapore
Grigory Chuyko Voronezhselmash Russia
Mel Cossette Edmonds Community College U.S.
Deon de Beer North-West University South Africa
Ryan Dehoff Oak Ridge National Laboratory U.S.
Carl Dekker Met-L-Flo U.S.
Brian Drab William Blair & Company U.S.
Igor Drstvenšek University of Maribor Slovenia
Sara Ebright Direct Dimensions U.S.
George Fisher-Wilson 3D Hubs Netherlands
Khalid Abdelghany Central Metallurgical R&D Institute Egypt
Tim Gornet University of Louisville U.S.
Joan Guasch Eurecat Spain
John Hornick Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner U.S.
Jeng Ywan Jeng National Taiwan University of Science and Tech. Taiwan
Andrzej Kęsy University of Technology and Humanities Poland
Babak Kianian Lund University Sweden
Niko Lafrentz Laser Zentrum Nord Germany
Martin Lavoie Canada Makes Canada
Nak-Kyu Lee Korea Institute of Industrial Technology Korea
Jörg Lenz EOS Germany
Feng Lin Tsinghua University China
Simon Marriott Adv. Mfg. Cooperative Research Centre Australia
Artur Mateus Polytechnic Institute of Leiria Portugal
Francisco Medina EWI U.S.
Gunther Mohr Laser Zentrum Nord Germany
Ed Morris America Makes U.S.
Greg Morris GE Additive U.S.
Tom Mueller Mueller AMS U.S.
Randall Newton Consilia Vektor U.S.
John Obielodan University of Wisconsin–Platteville U.S.
Charles Overy LGM U.S.
Bene Padovani Additive Manufacturing Consultancy Brazil
Thomas Pang Proto Labs Japan
Joris Peels Voxelfab Netherlands
Burak S. Pekcan +90 Turkey
Sebastian Piegert Siemens AG Germany
Johan Potgieter Massey University New Zealand
Michele Pressacco Lima Corporate Italy
Michael Raphael Direct Dimensions U.S.
Marco Regis Lima Corporate Italy
Boris Salamakhin Voronezhselmash Russia
Jorge Vicente Lopes da Silva Renato Archer Information Technology Center Brazil
Kinga Skrzek University of Technology and Humanities Poland
Mark Smith Sandia National Laboratories U.S.
Chris Spadaccini Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory U.S.
Jürgen Stampfl Vienna University of Technology Austria
Jukka Tuomi Aalto University Finland
Jenny van Rensburg Merlin Solutions South Africa
Robert Wells Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner U.S.
Ryan Wicker University of Texas at El Paso U.S.
Julie Whitney Wohlers Associates U.S.
David Wimpenny Manufacturing Technology Centre UK
Naiara Zubizarreta AddiMAT Spain
Jim Zunino U.S. Army U.S.

What Others are Saying

“Anyone with serious interest in professional 3D printing should be reading the Wohlers Report. There’s no better resource for anyone in the business of digital fabrication. It is the industry bible.”
Mike Senece, Executive Editor, Make: magazine

“Congratulations on the 2017 report. Again, a masterpiece.”
Jos Burger, CEO, Ultimaker

“In the world of additive manufacturing, Wohlers is both a legend and visionary. He understands the trends and opportunities provided by the technology like no other and is willing to share his insights.”
Peter Sander, Head of Emerging Technologies and Concepts, Airbus

“With over two decades of quality data, the Wohlers Associates team has become the gold standard for computing growth, analyzing trends, and forecasting the future of additive manufacturing.”
Tyler Koslow, 3D Printing Industry

“The report is regarded as the most comprehensive, most reliable collection of information and analysis on the global market for the industry.”
Brent Balinski, Manufacturers’ Monthly

“Why waste time and money when you can get a worldwide overview of additive manufacturing from Wohlers Associates—experts that have focused on AM for 26 years. Wohlers Report 2014 is worth every dollar.”
Peter Sander, Vice President, Airbus Germany

“For those unfamiliar with this technology or looking for details on the players, markets, applications, and forecasts, I recommend the industry’s ‘bible’ from Wohlers.”
Mark Mills, Forbes

“This publication is widely considered the gold standard on the industry, as Terry Wohlers is the leading authority on 3-D printing.”
Beth McKenna, The Motley Fool

“Comprehensive and authoritative, the Wohlers Report is an extraordinary compilation of information on additive manufacturing and 3D printing. It is a must read for those that want more than a cursory understanding of this incredible and rapidly changing technology.”
Ed Morris, Director, America Makes – National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute

“Meet the man behind it and his growing team of associates, understand his broad experience, comprehensive knowledge and vast contact network and it becomes glaringly obvious as to why this is still the go-to report for steady, realistic, and reliable insight into the 3D printing industry.”
Rachel Park, Editor-in-Chief, 3D Printing Industry

“… Wohlers, the industry’s highest profile expert.”
Alexander Eule, Barron’s

“More than just the bible of 3D printing, it is the New Testament as well as the Old Testament. We can’t think of another industry where a single source has such a compelling handle on the entire scope of industry trends.”
Citron Research

“Absolutely fascinating report! It has had a profound impact on my research, and it is defintely the “go to” document for its breadth and depth of AM activity around the globe.”
Brett Conner, Associate Professor, Youngstown State University

“The 2013 report is excellent and perhaps the best I’ve ever seen on an emerging technology. The level of detail is amazing.”
Owen McGarel, Lead Research Engineer, ITW Technology Center

“Now in its 18th year of publication (that’s right all you 3-D printing arrivistes, this stuff has been around for a while), the annual report describes a healthy and growing market for 3-D printing equipment, services, materials and processes, albeit one where the value continues to accrue to industrial applications.”
Michael Copeland, Senior Editor, WIRED

“Wohlers has been tracking this industry for roughly a quarter-century, and recently published the 18th annual edition of the industry bible, Wohlers Report, which monitors developments in the sector.”
Robert Grace, Associate Publisher, Plastics News

“I have only barely put a dent in Wohlers Report 2013 and have all ready learned an incredible amount of useful information. The report definitely pays for itself by accelerating the additive manufacturing learning curve.”
Gary Baker, Com Dev USA

“I read an excerpt from the Wohlers Report and then spoke with Terry by phone. In less than 30 minutes, I had more industry insight 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 Fleurinck, CEO, 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

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

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