The global additive manufacturing sector demonstrated record growth in 2018, according to the just-released Wohlers Report 2019, an annual summary of statistical developments and trends in the AM and 3D printing markets. In addition to developments in AM production for the past year, the report tracks growth and sales of 177 producers of industrial AM systems, nearly one third more than the 135 system manufacturers covered in the previous report.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, may refer to any of several process technologies for producing discrete parts directly from CAD data, individually or in series, in various alloys, plastics, ceramics, or composite materials.
The Wohlers Report 2019 includes data on AM materials development and consumption. Revenue from metal additive manufacturing grew by estimated 41.9% during 2018, continuing a five-year streak of +40% annual growth.
The report also examines the progress of AM industry knowledge and skills development, cyber security, post-processing automation, materials development, partnerships, and industry standards.
According to the Wohlers Report, industrial AM systems (those priced above $5,000) manufacturing increased in 2018, while desktop 3D-printing systems (priced under $5,000) saw significant decline in annual growth. The overall AM market continues to see new suppliers and hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investment, according to the report’s authors.
Wohlers Associates has been researching and tracking the additive manufacturing sector for several decades. The new report includes input from 127 service providers, 71 manufacturers of industrial systems, and 30 producers of desktop 3D printers and third-party materials.
The 369-page Wohlers Report 2019 is available for purchase, and includes an array of information on AM materials, applications, systems, services, design, software, patents, start-ups, standards, investment, and research.