Wohlers Associates 2019 state of 3D printing report published

Wohlers Associates, Inc. has published the Wohlers Report 2019 on the state of 3D printing and additive manufacturing.

2019 is the 24th year that Principal Author Terry Wohlers and his team will have delivered the report to industry professionals. The Wohlers Report contains insights into the benefits and challenges of this technology around the world, noting emerging developments, investments, and tracking the production, sale and pricing of systems, software and consumables. For many in the industry, the report is considered a fundamental resource for all things AM.

This year, the insight of this varied group of industry stakeholders has observed record growth in materials development and consumption, particularly where metals are concerned.

“Any organization serious about additive manufacturing cannot afford to be uninformed,” comments Wohlers when asked about the publication of the Wohlers Report, “In a single publication, organizations can gain perspective, insight, and data that would otherwise cost tens of thousands in consulting fees.”

“We believe this report has been more carefully and thoroughly researched and written than any other, at any price, in the 31-year history of the industry.”

Wohlers Report contributors

The 2019 Wohlers Report was compiled with the contribution of 80 individuals and organizations from 32 countries, and a variety of industries. Listed contributors include NATO, Sandia National Laboratories, EWI, Canada Makes, America Makes, EOS, RMIT University, Siemens AG, LimaCorporate, the Walt Disney Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Associate authors of the report, outside Wohlers Associates, are David Bourell,  Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E) at University of Texas at Austin; Ismail Fidan, Professor of Manufacturing Technology at Tennessee Tech University; and Peter Sander, the VP of Emerging Technologies & Concepts at Airbus, Germany.

Inside the Wohlers Report 2019

As noted in the published report highlight, one of the key observations in the 2019 report is a growth in  materials development and consumption. As shown in the chart below, the sale of materials for polymer powder bed fusion “were at an all-time high in 2018” reaching a value within the region of $400 million dollars.

Sales of materials for polymer powder bed fusion were at an all-time high in 2018. Figures are in millions of dollars. Source: Wohlers Report 2019
Sales of materials for polymer powder bed fusion were at an
all-time high in 2018. Figures are in millions of dollars.
Source: Wohlers Report 2019

Completing a five year streak, metal materials, e.g. powdered alloys, also grew an estimated 41% throughout 2018.

When tracking the growth and sales of industrial 3D printer OEMs (with systems priced at $5,000 or more), analysts recorded nearly one third more companies than they reported a year ago, growing from 135 manufacturers to 177.

Conversely, the number of desktop 3D printer manufacturers (with systems priced at under $5,000) showed a significant decline.

Despite this, the firm states, “The overall AM market continues to trend upward, with many new players, hundreds of millions of dollars invested, and innovative new products designed for AM that few envisioned years ago.”

These investments include the funds raised in 107 early-stage investments, together valued at almost $1.3 billion.

Order the Wohlers Report 2019

The Wohlers Report 2019 is available to order now, in digital and hardcopy format, directly from Wohlers Associates.

At 3D Printing Industry, we have started to publish some of the data tracked by our team. Specifically around 3D printing investment activity. This activity is tracked in our Data and Analysis tables, which also accounts for Mergers & Acquisitions, and is home to our Sentiment Index. The sentiment index is published on a quarterly basis.

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Featured image shows Wohlers Report 2019. Image via Wohlers Associates