Wohlers Associates sends a survey to service providers each year to help identify trends in the additive manufacturing (AM) service industry.
The 2015 survey asked for information about the respondents’ experiences in the calendar year 2014. (The 2014 survey was for 2013 calendar year.) The number of respondents continues to increase almost every year. This year, 87 service providers in 23 countries participated, with 38 from the U.S., eight from Germany, five from Canada, four from Australia, three each from China, France, India, and Italy, two each from Belgium, England, Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey, and one each from Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Thailand.
For 2015, the survey focused on the following areas as it relates to service providers in the Additive Manufacturing (DMLS) industry:
- Primary Business focus
- Secondary Business focus
- Additive manufacturing services
- Direct part production
- Other services
- Industries served
- Equipment used
- System performance
The report has some great comments by the industry respondents which really summarizes where the industry is at the moment. One thing that stands out is the ups and downs as indicated by these two comments:
Excellent growth in 2014—we almost doubled our sales. Thanks to all who work and contribute to our industry.
We believe our rapid prototyping business declined because customers added capabilities in-house and reduced outsource business.
Market demand increased sharply in 2014. More and more end users began to try to use AM technology to solve their machining problem. Some end users began to design parts for manufacturing using AM technology. We certainly believe 2015 will much better than 2014.
Most of the service providers that responded to the survey had a positive year in 2014, in both the primary and secondary revenue streams. Based on this data and their comments, we believe the majority is in relatively good financial health when the survey was conducted in early 2015. As a whole, they are growing, and growth in 2014 continued a positive trend that began in 2010 after two years of decline.
Read the full report here in our DMLS resource library.