By Liz Nickels

The market for 3D printing, consisting of all products and services worldwide, grew to US$3.07 billion last year. The growth of worldwide revenues over the past 26 years has averaged 27%, and the CAGR for the past three years (2011–2013) was 32.3%.

The publishers of the report, Wohlers Associates, believe the industry will continue its strong growth over the next several years fuelled by sales of under US$5,000 "personal" 3D printers, as well as the expanded use of the technology for the production of parts, especially metal, that go into final products. 

Wohlers Report 2014, described by some as the “additive manufacturing bible”, is the longest-running overview of the 3D printing industry. "The industry is experiencing change that we have not seen in 20+ years of tracking it," said Tim Caffrey, senior consultant at the company and one of two principal authors of the new report. He added, "What's most exciting is that we have barely scratched the surface of what's possible."