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Wohlers Associates Publishes 2012 Report on Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing

Industry Study Shows Annual Growth of Nearly 30%

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, USA, May 15, 2012—Wohlers Associates, Inc. today announced the publication of Wohlers Report 2012, an in-depth analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing worldwide. This new edition marks the 17th consecutive year of its publication. The report is the most thorough and comprehensive document of its kind. Its 287 pages are packed with up-to-date and practical information that includes 30 charts and graphs, 55 tables, and 219 photographs and illustrations. The annual study was created with support from 71 service providers, 27 system manufacturers, and the valuable contributions of 57 co-authors from 21 countries.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of additive manufacturing was 29.4% in 2011, according to the new report. The CAGR for the industry’s 24-year history is 26.4%. The AM industry is expected to continue strong double-digit growth over the next several years. By 2015, Wohlers Associates believes that the sale of AM products and services will reach $3.7 billion worldwide, and by 2019, surpass the $6.5 billion mark.

Wohlers Report 2012 covers all aspects of additive manufacturing, including its history, applications, processes, manufacturers, and materials. It documents pertinent developments in the past year, covers R&D and collaboration activities in government, academia, and industry, and summarizes the state of the industry in countries around the world. It also tracks the extraordinary growth of personal 3D printers—machines priced under $5,000, with the majority in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.

“No other organization has access to this depth of data and statistics,” said Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates and a principal author of the new report. The information is used to track industry growth, provide views and perspective, uncover trends, and offer insight into the future of additive manufacturing. “The 2012 edition is the most ambitious effort in the report’s history,” Wohlers said. New parts on applications, materials and processes, and front- and back-end considerations were added. The final part of the report concludes with 19 trends that are expected to shape the future of the technology and industry.

“The information in the new report represents 17 years of collecting and analyzing data, which is unique to the AM industry,” said Tim Caffrey, associate consultant at Wohlers Associates and a principal author of Wohlers Report 2012. “We’ve added a considerable amount of new content and reorganized much of the material. We hope that this year’s edition, which uses ASTM standard terminology, serves as a valuable resource for its many readers.”

The report sells for $495 worldwide and is available in PDF form. The report’s table of contents, as well as additional information on the market and industry, are available at

Additive manufacturing is the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Additive manufacturing is used to build physical models, prototypes, patterns, tooling components, and production parts in plastic, metal, and composite materials. AM systems use thin, horizontal cross sections from computer-aided design (CAD) models, 3D-scanning systems, medical scanners, and video games to produce parts that can be difficult or impossible to produce any other way.

Wohlers Associates is an independent consulting firm that provides technical, marketing, and strategic advice on the new developments and trends in rapid product development and additive manufacturing. For more information, visit

The following is the front cover of the new report. 
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Development Team
The following individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2012
and served as important sources for information.

Paulo Jorge Bártolo Institute Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal)
Joseph Beaman University of Texas at Austin
Alain Bernard Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)
Milan Brandt RMIT University (Australia)
Sebastian Bremen Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
Craig Brice NASA Langley Research Center
Mike Burton RMIT University (Australia)
David Bourell University of Texas at Austin
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling Inc.
Shane Collins Directed Manufacturing
Deon de Beer Vaal University of Technology (South Africa)
Olaf Diegel Massey University (New Zealand)
Igor Drstvenšek University of Maribor (Slovenia)
Pablo Elenter Robtec (Brazil)
Ismail Fidan Tennessee Tech University
Ping Fu Geomagic, Inc.
Jim Gentrup Discovery Investment Research
Ian Gibson National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Tim Gornet University of Louisville
Joan Guasch ASCAMM (Spain)
Ian Harris Additive Manufacturing Consortium
Ola Harrysson North Carolina State University
Seiji Hayano

Aspect (Japan)
Forrest Higgs Brosis Innovations, Inc
Johannes Homa Lithoz GmbH (Austria)
Neil Hopkinson University of Sheffield (England)
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Jason Jones De Montfort University (England)
Volker Junior

Junior & Tacke (Germany)
Karolien Kempen

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Eric Klemp Direct Manufacturing Research Center (Germany)
Jean-Pierre Kruth Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Ulf Lindhe netfabb (Germany)
Frank Medina University of Texas at El Paso
Wilhelm Meiners Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (Germany)
Jorge Mireles University of Texas at El Paso
Greg Morris Morris Technologies
Randall S. Newton Jon Peddie Research

John Obielodan Utah State University
Charles Overy LGM
Onur Ozturk Onatus (Turkey)
Joris Peels Origo (Belgium)
Phil Reeves Econolyst (England)
Alex Rekout Moscow Business College #11 (Russia)
Monica Savalani Hong Kong Polytechnic University (China)
Kevin Scofield Geomagic, Inc.
Joel Segal University of Nottingham (England)
Michael Siemer Innovative Medical Device Solutions
Jürgen Stampfl Vienna University of Technology (Austria)
Ian Stewart Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker
Brent Stucker University of Louisville
Jukka Tuomi Aalto University (Finland)
Bart van de Vorst TNO (Netherlands)
Michael Weinberg Public Knowledge
Ryan Wicker University of Texas at El Paso
David Wimpenny Manufacturing Technology Centre, HVM Catapult (England)