Design Engineering

Metal additive manufacturing up 24.4% in 2023: report

By DE Staff   

Materials Additive Manufacturing 3D printing Additive Manufacturing Wohlers Associates

Wohlers Associates reported that the shipment of additive manufacturing (AM) systems for metal parts increased by 24.4 per cent in 2023. Wohlers Associates has been tracking this market segment for 21 years, and their most recent Wohlers Report 2024 provides organizations with detailed guidance, perspective and research results on the AM and 3D printing industry.

An estimated 3,793 metal AM systems were sold in 2023, compared to 3,049 in 2022. Meanwhile, the AM industry grew by 11.1 per cent to US$20.035 billion, an estimate based on hard data received from hundreds of companies worldwide.

“Investors, government agencies, and organizations adopting AM are eager to know what will drive growth in the future,” said Terry Wohlers, head of advisory services and market intelligence at Wohlers Associates. “Significant expansion will come from a much wider range of applications and demand for end-use parts. For this to occur, systems will become faster, reducing the production cost per part. A reduction in material pricing, due largely to competitive pressures, will lower costs further.”


Wohlers Report 2024 details how new materials and their qualification will contribute, especially to the aerospace, defense, health care and energy sectors. The certification of new designs, coupled with industry standards, will also impact growth according to the new report.

Wohlers notes that as AM machines and methods of post-processing improve, the industry will see new, robust solutions. These developments will change the equation when determining whether AM is a fit for a production application. Breakeven points—the level at which AM becomes less expensive—will shift from thousands of parts to hundreds of thousands, and even millions for small parts.

The new report was supported by the extensive contribution of information and data from 245 organizations, including service providers, manufacturers of additive manufacturing systems, and third-party material producers. More than 110 people, including 100 experts from 35 countries, contributed to Wohlers Report 2024. The report draws on three decades of data and market intelligence work around the world.


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