Wohlers Report 2022 Finds Strong Industry-Wide Growth

Wohlers Associates, the well-known additive manufacturing consultancy firm, and close ally of both MatEdU and TEAMM, recently acquired by ASTM International, released its annual report: Wohlers Report 2022.

MatEdU News and AM News (from our sister organization TEAMM) have both published details from the report over its many years of serving the AM industry (links below). The annual report focuses on the state of 3D printing and often highlights important advances within materials science. 

Key takeaways from the 425-page 2022 report show the additive manufacturing industry grew by 19.5 percent in 2021, which is up from 7.5% growth in 2020. This is largely attributed to a sustained, global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Polymer Powder

As the above image shows, from the report, “As the technology and industry mature, a growing number of companies are using AM for custom products and series production, according to the new report. A sign is the growth of polymer powder consumption in 2021, which grew by 43.3% to overtake photopolymers as the most used AM material.”

The materials section digs in the companies producing new materials or modifying materials for industry needs. Many of these smaller, nimble materials manufacturers are often of interest to academic partners within the National Science Foundation network for their research projects and community initiatives. 

3D Printing Materials

Some useful examples from the materials chapter:

  • Taulman3D offers t-glase, a tough, clear PET material, which has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for food contact and containers. TreeD makes a range of ‘exotic’ filaments, including clay-filled and bone-like materials.
  • Materials provider Proto-pasta creates filaments in brass, bronze, copper, iron, or steel powder with a PLA binder. ColorFabb of the Netherlands produces a variety of metal-filled PLA filaments. Parts can be polished, tarnished, and rusted like traditional metal parts.
  • Some suppliers are producing metal-filled filaments to create a metal part… BASF announced its Ultrafuse filament. Many small and large printer manufacturers, such as BCN3D, Desktop Metal, and Markforged have integrated this capability into proprietary systems.

Although the report section on materials and processes is a favorite here at MatEdU News, it also covers almost everything you need to know to stay informed about additive manufacturing in the USA and around the world — one of the reasons it is called the “Bible of 3D printing.” 

Here are some of the new and expanded features of Wohlers Report 2022:    

  • scaling AM into production;
  • workforce development and sustainability;
  • Women in 3D Printing;
  • ground-breaking R&D programs;
  • reports from industry experts in 34 countries; and
  • the future of AM

More information on Wohlers Report 2022 is available here.

As mentioned above, here are three recent posts from MatEdU News and TEAMM:

  • Wohlers Associates Report on Additive Manufacturing Post-Processing – Materials Education (MatEdU)
    • Post-processing is one of three major phases of producing 3D-printed parts. According to research conducted for Wohlers Report 2021, nearly 27% of the cost of producing AM parts comes from post-processing. The study involved input from 124 service providers in 27 countries. The following chart presents the cost segmentation between pre-processing, printing, and post-processing among companies that offer both metal and polymer AM.