Metal additive manufacturing grows by nearly 76 percent

Additive manufacturing (AM) systems for metal parts are increasing in popularity, according to Wohlers Report 2014. The 19th annual edition, published recently, includes an in-depth review and analysis of additive manufacturing and 3D printing - terms that are used interchangeably. The worldwide study includes industry growth, competitive products and services, and a futuristic view on an industry that is creating unprecedented interest and excitement.

Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm that provides technical and strategic advice on new developments and trends in AM, 3D printing, and rapid product development, has been tracking the market for machines that produce metal parts for 14 years. This report marks only the second time for the company to publish detailed information on metal-based AM machine unit sales by year. In 2013, there were 348 of these metal AM machines sold, compared to 198 in 2012, an impressive growth rate of 75.8%.

Most of those machine sales were to large industrial manufacturers. "Companies such as Airbus, General Electric, and Lima Corporate are using these machines to produce complex metal parts for next-generation aerospace and medical products," said Terry Wohlers, founder and president of Wohlers Associates and a principal author of the new report.

The 276-page annual study, available at, contains up-to-date and practical information, 35 charts and graphs, and much more. The study was created with support from 82 service providers, 29 system manufacturers, and the valuable contribution of 70 co-authors in 24 countries.

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