Frankfurt am Main/ Germany – This year’s Wohlers Report on the state of the additive manufacturing (AM) industry includes a striking statistic: When global service providers were asked which technology they would most likely add, the most popular response was laser sintering from EOS, followed by PolyJet from Objet, and FDM from Stratasys, according to Wohlers Report 2010 (see chart below).
For 15 years, Wohlers Associates has compiled an annual comprehensive report on the advances in additive manufacturing technologies and applications. The 2010 report includes field information that provides an extensive overview of the current state of the industry.
"We sent our survey to 150 service providers from around the world," said Terry Wohlers, principal consultant and president of Wohlers Associates. "One of the questions we asked was, ‘If you were going to add a new AM technology, which one would you most likely acquire?’ We gave them 21 systems to choose from, plus an "Other" option. Sixty-four organizations from 18 countries responded, and the data revealed that 40.4 percent of those chose laser-sintering from EOS over everything else."
Chuck Alexander, director of additive manufacturing at Solid Concepts, Valencia, Calif., suggests several possible reasons for the survey results. "We’ve seen firsthand the accuracy, reliability and minimal downtime of EOS laser-sintering systems," he said. "The company’s wide range of plastic and metal materials may also appeal to service bureaus looking to expand what they offer customers."
Wohlers Associates, Inc. is an independent consulting firm in Fort Collins, Colo. The company provides technical and strategic consulting on the new developments and trends in rapid product development and additive manufacturing. Much of this guidance deals with industrial applications, hidden costs, what works and what does not, industry trends, and growth forecasts. The company also assists with acquisitions, partnerships, product positioning, competitive issues, investment, and whether to enter a particular market segment. The company's past work has involved more than 160 client organizations in 22 countries around the world.
EOS, Krailling, Germany claims to be the world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes.