Wohlers reports growing use of 3D printing for final part production

Will 3D printing technology prove to be a disruptive technology to injection molding? According to Wohlers Report 2013, produced and published by Wohlers Associates, final part production using 3D printing rose to 28.3% of the $2.2 billion spent last year on 3D printing products and services worldwide, continuing to follow a decade-long growth trend. That is compared to 2003, when end-use parts represented only 3.9% of revenues.

The use of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, for final part production as opposed to prototype applications, is growing in several diverse market segments. They include metal copings for dental crowns and bridges, orthopedic implants and jewelry. The aerospace industry is also an important market for the production of 3D-printed parts. Boeing uses additive manufacturing extensively to produce environmental control system ducting for directing the flow of air on military and commercial aircraft. GE Aviation announced that it will use 3D-printed fuel nozzles on its next-generation LEAP engines. The company plans to print about 40,000 nozzles annually for its aircraft engines in the coming years....

Read more