Wohlers Talk

A Name 18+ Years Later

Wohlers Talk

In April 2003, this two-paragraph blog post discussed the name of the process used to produce parts additively. Back then, most people used the term “rapid prototyping” to describe this process. It was far from perfect, as stated in the blog post, but it worked reasonably well for many years.

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Wohlers Audio Series—Episode 2

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow. The challenge of educating and training users on how to design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) must be overcome before the industry can reach mass adoption of AM.

Wohlers Audio Series

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow. The additive manufacturing industry is evolving rapidly. To continue to bring insight throughout the year, Wohlers Associates has launched the Wohlers Audio Series.

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Women in 3D Printing

Wohlers Talk

Women in 3D Printing , a non-profit organization, was formed in 2014 by Nora Toure of Fast Radius. In just five years, she helped build it into a community of more than 10,000 women worldwide.

Rapid Prototyping and On Demand Manufacturing

Our blog is focus on rapid prototyping and low volume manufacturing information for global product designer, engineers, purchase officer and entrepreneur.

3D-Printed Housing

Wohlers Talk

The idea of using 3D printing for construction applications has merit in special circumstances. If the value it adds exceeds the costs of using the technology, it may make sense.

Newest ODD Guitar

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow and Terry Wohlers. Olaf Diegel, an associate consultant at Wohlers Associates, is a world-renowned designer of one-of-a-kind products, including musical instruments. His Beatlemania guitar was covered in a previous blog post.

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How Wohlers Report 2021 was Produced

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow. Helping to develop Wohlers Report 2021 was an unbelievable experience. The report was published last week. I learned that it takes an army of bright and dedicated individuals. This year, 88 co-authors and contributors from 34 countries were a part of it.

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3D-Printed Meat

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow and Terry Wohlers. Nearly every week, we see a new headline on 3D-printed meat. More than a handful of companies are working on it, but none look like the real thing.

Another Supply Chain Collapse

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow and Terry Wohlers. The five-day block of the Suez Canal underscores the instability of our global supply chains. Nearly everything around us requires global connections. The canal is a critical route for products from Asia to Europe and the east coast of the U.S.

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Legend Scott Crump

Wohlers Talk

Scott is the inventor of the most popular method of additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing in the world. It is called fused deposition modeling (FDM), and about nine out of 10 AM systems are based on it according to our research for Wohlers Report 2020.

Your CSWA Exam Prep Guide

This CSWA exam prep guide includes 30+ insider tips that will help you prepare, practice for, and pass the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate exam.

Formnext 2019

Wohlers Talk

Last week’s Formnext in Frankfurt, Germany was outstanding. Nearly 35,000 people attended, up more than 28% from last year. Four large exhibition halls were nearly filled with 852 exhibitors, an increase of 35% over 2018.

Using AM for Design and Production

Wohlers Talk

By Noah Mostow. The additive manufacturing industry has progressed well beyond prototyping only. Companies using it for both product development and series production are finding interesting benefits.

Print Often, Learn Fast

Wohlers Talk

Note: Noah J. Mostow, research associate at Wohlers Associates, authored the following. Years ago, 3D printing was generally referred to as rapid prototyping. Then and now, engineers and designers often experience inherent gaps between a 3D computer model and a physical part.

TIPE 3D Printing 2021

Wohlers Talk

The TIPE 3D Printing event is less than 2.5 weeks away. TIPE stands for technology, industry, people, and economics.) The organizer of the January 27-28 virtual conference is Women in 3D Printing.

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Where is My 3D-Printed Gear?

Wohlers Talk

Note: Noah J. Mostow, research associate at Wohlers Associates, authored the following. With snow falling outside, I am often looking at my snowboarding equipment. It is all traditionally manufactured, along with all my outdoor gear. Where are the 3D-printed products?

3D Medical Applications

Held in Baltimore, Maryland, this event will bring together thought leaders, experts, engineers, doctors, researchers, and regulators in the many medical methods for 3D technology.The 3D Medical Applications conference is the most comprehensive, game-changing, meeting of minds for the future of 3D in healthcare.

Newest Member of Wohlers Associates

Wohlers Talk

Note: Noah J. Mostow, research associate at Wohlers Associates, authored the following. I produced my first 3D-printed part while working at Burton Snowboards in Burlington, Vermont. The part is shown in the following image. Its purpose was to test transforming rotation into linear motion.

Autodesk

Wohlers Talk

In 1983, I called Autodesk and the vice president of marketing and sales answered the phone. I was employed by Colorado State University at the time. I requested free use of AutoCAD version 1.3 in a 500-level CAD course I was planning to conduct later that year.

Game Day Series

Wohlers Talk

America Makes’ Virtual Game Day Series with Wohlers Associates concluded last week. The four events spanned four months and covered a range of key topics related to additive manufacturing and 3D printing. In all, 728 people worldwide attended the events.

Remarkable Struggles

Wohlers Talk

Our nation’s healthcare providers are doing extraordinary work. They are risking their lives to help many of us. We cannot provide too much support to them. I’m hopeful that they receive the personal protection equipment (PPE) they deserve.

AM Terminology

Wohlers Talk

Standard terminology for additive manufacturing and 3D printing is critical when communicating. It puts everyone on the “same page” and more accurately conveys thoughts and ideas when conversing, presenting, and publishing.

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3D-Printed Bike Saddle

Wohlers Talk

On June 3, 2020, Specialized announced the commercial availability of the first 3D-printed cycling saddle, the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror Technology. A major part of the saddle is crafted with technology from Silicon Valley-based Carbon.

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Distributed Manufacturing

Wohlers Talk

Most mass manufacturing is done at centralized locations. Many produce millions of products annually. Envision a future where this capacity occurs in many more locations much closer to the customer. Deliveries occur faster and less expensively.

Selecting Parts for AM

Wohlers Talk

Note: Ray Huff, associate engineer at Wohlers Associates, authored the following. Adopting additive manufacturing (AM) for serial production is one of the biggest and most interesting recent trends in industry. Many companies want to know the secret of how to choose parts that are a good fit. Selecting the right parts is very specific to the process, material, product, and market, yet some overarching guidelines help in the process.

Recycling with AM

Wohlers Talk

Note: Ray Huff, associate engineer at Wohlers Associates, authored the following. No one is surprised to hear that people produce copious amounts of waste every day. According to a 2017 study , if was found that over 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced annually.

Response to Pandemic

Wohlers Talk

On Monday of this week, an important event occurred. It was the first in the recently announced Virtual Game Day Series with Wohlers Associates. Monday’s virtual event, titled America Makes COVID-19 Response, attracted about 250 people.

U.S. Comeback in AM

Wohlers Talk

Is the U.S. making a comeback in additive manufacturing? Some might question whether the U.S. had fallen back in its position. In the 2000s, the U.S. definitely lost ground in a number of areas to the likes of China and Germany. One area is in the production of industrial AM systems, which are those that sell for more than $5,000.

Extraordinary Times

Wohlers Talk

Countless organizations have shut down indefinitely. The economy is tanking with the stock market declining to unthinkable levels. United Airlines has cut 95% of its international flights, with most business travel halted. Meeting with others, even close friend and relatives, is discouraged.

3D-Printed Figurines

Wohlers Talk

3D scanning and printing tools make it possible to produce color figurines of action figures, pets, our kids, and a lot more. Prior to our daughter’s wedding last July, we decided to produce a custom cake topper of her and her fiancé. Our company has worked with 3D scanning in the past, but we had not dealt with this level of detail in some time. The following images show the 3D prints from the scan data.

Beatlemania Bass Guitar

Wohlers Talk

Associate consultant Olaf Diegel has designed and manufactured an impressive range of guitars. The main body of each is the most interesting part because it is designed for 3D printing. The character and complexity of these guitars make them, in my opinion, remarkable.

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Additive Manufacturing in 2019

Wohlers Talk

The additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry has been anything but dull, with stirring news nearly every week. Last week, for example, footwear product company Dr. Scholl’s announced a partnership with Wiivv to produce custom insoles by AM. I own a pair of the Wiivv-branded custom insoles (see the left image in the following) and wrote about them here. The next 12 months will offer a wide range of interesting—even exciting—developments in AM.

Investment

Wohlers Talk

We have tracked investment totaling nearly $1.5 billion in additive manufacturing (AM) products and services worldwide. These dollars are critical to the future of AM and its developing ecosystem. Without it, countess producers of machines, materials, and software, as well as service providers, would not survive. Investment dollars do not ensure success, but it gives companies a fighting chance.

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Wohlers Report 2018

Wohlers Talk

Wohlers Associates, Inc. announced today the release of Wohlers Report 2018 , the industry-leading global report on the state of the additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing industry, terms used interchangeably. Wohlers Associates has published its series of annual reports on AM for 23 consecutive years. According to the new report, an estimated 1,768 metal AM systems were sold in 2017, compared to 983 systems in 2016, an increase of nearly 80%.

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3D-Printed Food

Wohlers Talk

The idea of 3D-printed food came in or around 2011 when Hod Lipson and his team at Cornell University produced some crude but intriguing examples. The team showed that it was possible to use a syringe-based material extrusion-based 3D printer to deposit cheese, peanut butter, chocolate, and other types of foods. The objects clearly demonstrated the concept. In 2014, 3D Systems introduced its ChefJet 3D printer for making candy and other food items.

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AM Adoption in Aerospace

Wohlers Talk

At an impressive pace, companies in the aerospace industry are building in-house capacity and expanding the number of certified suppliers in additive manufacturing. The Federal Aviation Administration and others have indicated to me that a half dozen or more metal AM parts have been certified for flight. In the 2014 to 2016 time frame, I saw more than 30 new designs for metal AM at Airbus and its subsidiary Premium AEROTEC. It is believed that hundreds of different polymer AM parts (i.e.,

Bangalore

Wohlers Talk

I visited Bangalore for the first time last week and the experience could not have been better. The people were extremely friendly. In fact, several approached and talked to me as if we had met before, although we hadn’t. I was lucky enough to spend time at very interesting and successful companies, including 3D Product Development , Intech DMLS , and Supercraft3D. All three are vibrant and focused on additive manufacturing products and services and are in the forefront of AM in India.

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AM in Formula One

Wohlers Talk

Note: Research associate Ray Huff authored the following. Two weeks ago, I attended the Circuit of the Americas Formula One race near Austin, Texas. I was a guest of Additive Industries, along with the Sauber Alfa Romeo team, for practice day at the track. The day was rainy, but spirits were high, and we enjoyed the spectacle of heavily-engineered race cars burning down the track at speeds of more than 322 km (200 miles) per hour.

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Design Rules for AM

Wohlers Talk

Little by little, companies are learning that it can be very different to design for additive manufacturing (DfAM). To make AM economical for production quantities, DfAM is usually necessary. As costs of the machines, materials, and post-processing are driven downward over time, this may change in some instances. For the foreseeable future, DfAM is not only useful, it’s a requirement.

Jobs from 3D Printing

Wohlers Talk

Government officials have been asking how 3D printing will create jobs in their part of the world. The subject came up again last week in Melbourne, Australia when meeting with people at the state government of Victoria. We explained that some companies and businesses would not exist if it wasn’t for 3D printing. An example is Align Technology, makers of the Invisalign plastic aligners that replace metal brackets and wire to straighten teeth.

BrewSpoon

Wohlers Talk

When traveling, I like to wake up to a cup of rich coffee. Most hotel rooms in the U.S. include a coffee maker with decent coffee. When traveling outside the U.S., coffee makers in hotel rooms are not common, although many include a hot water kettle. For years, I have traveled abroad with a Bodum travel press, which produces a good cup of coffee. The first one I had was made of plastic and eventually cracked when pouring boiling water into it.

3D-Printed Buildings

Wohlers Talk

Earlier this year, 3DPrint.com reported on Shanghai-based WinSun and its 3D printing of buildings. Stories of the Chinese printing entire homes and other structures have been reported in the past, although most have been met with uncertainty. This one, however, includes many detailed images, suggesting that what was described in writing might be real. The video clip and pictures that accompany the story are compelling.