The additive manufacturing sector grew just 7.5 percent in 2020, far below the double-digit average growth of the last decade.
The AM industry grew to nearly $12.8 billion in 2020, according to the latest report from Fort Collins, Colo.-based Wohlers Associates Inc.
However, the increase is down compared to average growth of 27.4 percent over the last 10 years.
Wohlers Associates publishes an analysis of AM and 3D printing every March. The 375-page Wohlers Report 2021 covers the previous 12 months of business activity, including the impact of COVID-19, and provides data and trend lines that span more than 30 years.
Most established manufacturers of AM systems saw a decline in equipment sales in 2020, while some less-established companies grew, according to a news release about the 2021 report.
An uptick in business by independent AM service providers supported the industrywide growth, generating almost $5.3 billion of the sales.
The Wohlers Report 2021 also includes commentary on 74 early-stage investments and 35 acquisitions and public offerings.
The report also includes information about 3D printing of food, medicine, and electronics; pricing of metals and polymers and the hidden costs of AM; methods of AM part inspection; a compilation of expert reports from 34 countries; and tables of AM systems, software tools, service providers, and third-party materials.
The report has been published annually for 26 years.