Wohlers Report 2018: strong rise in metal additive manufacturing

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Metal 3D-printed structural components (Source: GE Additive – Flextronics Manufacturing)

According to the Wohlers Report 2018 on the state of the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry, an estimated 1,768 metal AM systems were sold in 2017, compared to 983 systems in 2016, an increase of nearly 80%. This rise in metal AM system installations – the report explains – accompanies improved process monitoring and quality assurance measures in metal AM, although more work is ahead. Increasingly, global manufacturers are becoming aware of the benefits of producing metal parts by additive manufacturing. Wohlers Associates found that 135 companies around the world produced and sold industrial AM systems in 2017, up from 97 companies in 2016. New system manufacturers are entering the AM market at a dizzying pace, while releasing machines with open material platforms, faster print speeds, and lower pricing.

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