Two new reports out on 3D printing/additive manufacturing reveals some amazing growth rates for that industry. The newly released Wohlers Report 2014 shows that the market for 3D printing, consisting of all products and services worldwide, grew to $3.07 billion in 2013. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.9% is the highest in 17 years. The growth of worldwide revenues over the past 26 years has averaged 27%. The CAGR for the past three years (2011-2013) was 32.3%, according to the Wohlers Report.
Wohlers Associates believes the industry will continue strong growth over the next several years, fueled by sales of under $5,000 "personal" 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. "What's most exciting is that we have barely scratched the surface of what's possible."
PlasticsToday asked Terry Wohlers about the "most amazing technology" that he's seen over the past 20 years of covering this industry. "Systems that are capable of producing metal parts for jet engines and NASA rockets," he replied. And to the question of what he believes will be the next big thing: "Parts that are better than those produced using conventional methods of manufacturing," Wohlers said.