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Additive Manufacturing Continues to Grow Despite Pandemic, Reports Wohlers

Although the rate of growth declined compared with previous years, the additive manufacturing industry expanded 7.5% last year, reaching a value of $12.8 billion.

Clare Goldsberry

March 26, 2021

2 Min Read
keyboard with "additive manufacturing"
Image: Tashatuvango/Adobe Stock

While the growth rate of additive manufacturing declined significantly in 2020 compared with previous years, the industry still managed to expand 7.5% even with the pandemic. The just-released Wohlers Report 2021 currently pegs the additive manufacturing industry at a value of $12.8 billion. Average growth over the previous 10 years was 27.4%.

Wohlers Associates Inc., an independent consulting firm that has been providing technical, market, and strategic advice to companies in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry for 34 years, released the 26th annual edition of its report this week. Considered the “bible” of the AM industry, the 375-page report provides trends, perspectives, and forecasts as a tool for decision making, education, and knowledge acceleration, said Wohlers. The report also gives readers new to AM a comprehensive understanding of the technology and industry.

Most established manufacturers of AM systems saw a decline in equipment sales, but many less-established companies grew in 2020. An increase in business by AM service providers supported industrywide growth, as shown in the chart below.

additive manufacturers' business chart

Some of the new and expanded features in Wohlers Report 2021 include 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.

Wohlers Report 2021 was created by Wohlers Associates with the support of 124 service providers, 113 manufacturers of AM machines, and 24 producers of third-party materials. The report includes 54 charts and graphs, 104 tables, and 80 pages of supplemental online content available exclusively to the buyers of the report.

For more information and to purchase the report, visit the Wohlers website.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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