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In-Depth Information
3D Printing Industry Trends: What everybody else is doing?
The Wohlers Report is published annually and provides a detailed picture of the 3D Printing
/ Additive Manufacture industry, taking into account worldwide trends and statistics.
Wohlers provide a thorough review and analysis of all 3D Printing technologies and their
global adoption.
3D Printing system sales remain buoyant over the last few years, despite the global slow-
down. Most additive technology systems are purchased by service providers (bureaus), man-
ufacturing and product development businesses attempting to reduce product development
cycle times, as well as by academic and research establishments. North America is the lead
market for the installation of 3D Printing systems, followed by Europe. Close behind is the
Asia/Pacific region. Other smaller markets include South America, Africa and the Middle
Rapid prototyping during the product development process remains the most popular use
of 3D Printing, ahead of rapid manufacturing of final production-ready parts. However the
latter is steadily increasing as prices fall, more materials become readily available, machine
capability increases and engineers are increasingly aware of what is possible. 3D Printing for
production (rapid manufacturing) is being used in a range of industry sectors. These include
dentistry/medical, aerospace, defence, automotive and motorsport. General engineering and
industrial machinery development are also witnessing an increase. Direct Laser Metal Sin-
tering (DLMS) is a significant technology in the trend for increased rapid manufacturing.
An interesting and dramatic trend has been the uptake of 3D Printing in the DIY Market.
Here, individuals are increasingly buying low cost machines and then producing their own
3D parts, either from CAD files they have downloaded or CAD models they have produced
themselves. Frequently referred to as the DIY Maker Movement ; a thriving online commu-
nity exists where users share files and advice in an open source online environment. Users
exist beyond design and manufacturing. The creative industries, amateurs and enthusiasts
from various backgrounds continue to contribute. Low cost machines can be assembled by
the user. 3D models can be downloaded free from libraries which CAD designers and other
users constantly add to. Continual improvement is a key theme, both in terms of the capab-
ility of machines, as well as advice, hints and tips.
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