Rapid prototyping industry rebounds

Wohlers worldwide study reveals industry growth of 24.1 percent.

Comments Off on Rapid prototyping industry rebounds May 19, 2011
by Design Engineering Staff

Fort Collins, Colorado — In its annual report on additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (Wohlers Report 2011), industry analyst firm Wohlers Associates, Inc. announced that the AM industry rebounded strongly in 2010 from the global economic recession.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of revenues produced by all AM products and services in 2010 was 24.1 percent, reversing the 9.7 percent industry decline in 2009. The CAGR for the industry’s 23-year history is an impressive 26.2 percent.

“I am happy to see the additive manufacturing industry recover as quickly as it has,” said Tim Caffrey, associate consultant at Wohlers Associates and a major contributor of the report. “We expect the industry to continue its strong double-digit growth over the next several years.”

considered by many to be the industry’s “Bible,” the 270-page report conservatively forecasts industry-wide growth to be $3.1 billion by 2016 and $5.2 billion by 2020.

The new report also documents the latest developments in additive manufacturing technologies, including the growth of low-cost “personal” systems, the rapid development of metal materials and the increasing use of these technologies for the production of end-use products.