Fort Collins, Colo. — The additive manufacturing sector grew 17.4 percent in 2016, down from the growth of 25.9 in 2015, according to the Wohlers Report 2017.
Much of the reason for the softer worldwide growth rate came from declines by the two largest system manufacturers in the sector, said Wohlers Associates Inc. of Fort Collins. Together, those two suppliers represent 21.7 percent ($1.31 billion) of the total $6 billion industry.
But the 2016 industry growth would be 24.9 percent — about the same as the 2016 level — if those two companies were excluded from the analysis, Wohlers said.
According to the research firm, 97 manufacturers produced and sold additive manufacturing systems in 2016. That's a big jump from 62 in 2015 and 49 in 2014.
“These manufacturers are providing interesting products and unprecedented competition on the AM industry,” Wohlers Associates said in a news release. “This wave of development and commercialization is putting pressure on the established producers of AM systems.”
The 344-page Wohlers Report 2017 gives a review and analysis of growth, competitive products and services, and the outlook for the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry. It covers the technology's history, applications, materials, process and equipment manufacturers.
More than 160 pages of supplemental online information that is available to buyers of the report.