Investors are taking note of recent developments in additive manufacturing (AM). Terry Wohlers, an AM industry consultant and analyst, authors an annual progress review on the process: The Wohlers Report.
“It took the AM industry 20 years to reach $1 billion in size,” he says. “In five additional years, the industry generated its second billion. It then grew 34.9% (compound annual growth rate) to $3.07 billion in 2013, compared to 32.7% growth to $2.275 billion in 2012. Eventually, we expect the industry to quadruple to about $12.5 billion by 2018,” he says.
In particular, “Metal AM is growing faster than the rest of the market. Sales of metal AM systems increased 75.8% in 2013. In some ways, metal AM has come further in 10 years than polymer AM has in 25 years,” says Wohlers.
A version of this article appears in the October 6 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology.