After what seems like a deluge of 3D printing “industry reports” in recent weeks and months, predicting the $XX Billion Value of the sector in 5, 6, 10, blah blah years time etc, it’s finally that time of year when the original and de facto standard in annual 3D printing reports is published.

The Wohlers Report 2014, published by Wohlers Associates is available immediately and marks the 19th consecutive year of its availability — this fact alone sets the Wohlers Report apart from any other “industry report.” However, 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.

Providing an in-depth review and analysis of additive manufacturing and 3D printing worldwide, the 2014 report includes statistics on industry growth, competitive products and services, and a futuristic perspective on an industry that has created tremendous interest and excitement in the recent past.

Reporting the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 17 years — 34.9% — the overall news is, unsurprisingly, very positive. This figure is compared with an average of 27% over the past 26 years and a CAGR for the past three years (2011–2013) of 32.3%. This growth covers the entire global market for 3D printing, including all products and services. In dollar figures the Wohlers Report 2014 values the industry at $3.07 billion last year, tipping the $3 billion mark for the first time.

Wohlers Associates believes the industry will continue to see strong growth over the next several years, fuelled by sales of under $5,000 “personal” 3D printers, as well as the expanded use of the technology for the production of parts, especially metal, that go into final products. “The industry is experiencing change that we have not seen in 20+ years of tracking it,” stated Tim Caffrey, senior consultant at the company and one of two principal authors of the new report. He added, “What’s most exciting is that we have barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.”

Wohlers Report 2014 is a comprehensive (276-page) study that covers all aspects of 3D printing, including its history, applications, processes, materials, and manufacturers. It covers developments in R&D, investment, collaborative activities in government, academia, and industry, and summarizes the state of the industry from around the world.

The report, which sells for US$495, was created with support from 82 service providers, 29 system manufacturers, and the valuable contributions of 70 co-authors in 24 countries. More information and purchase information can be found here.