Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates is considered one of the leading global experts on the past, present and future of 3D printing. So who better than he to assess 3D printing’s place in human technological history? Wohlers did just that by releasing a graphic from the 2016 Wohler’s Report that places 3D printing among just around a dozen major human technological discoveries.
“Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in or around 1440. Since then, humans have seen many technical advances. Among them are electricity, medicine, radio, and the telephone. Henry Ford was credited with popularizing the automobile in the early 1900s. Later came air travel and the semiconductor, which led to computers, robotics, and the Internet.
A subject that I have pondered for some time is whether 3D printing will be viewed as a major technical advancement, similar to these other developments. We may not know for decades into the future, but many agree that it’s certainly headed in that direction.”
Wohlers Associates, Inc. is a 30-year old independent consulting firm based Fort Collins, Colorado, located one hour (by ground transportation) from Denver International Airport. The company provides technical and strategic consulting on the new developments and trends in rapid product development and additive manufacturing. Much of this guidance has dealt with industrial applications, what works and what does not, hidden costs, industry trends, and growth forecasts. The company also helps to identify opportunities in mergers and acquisitions, provides advice on product positioning and competitive issues, and offers expert testimony in litigation. Wohlers Associates has provided advice to 170 companies in the investment community, most being institutional investors that represent mutual funds, hedge funds, and private equity valued at billions of dollars. In addition to these companies, Wohlers Associates’ past work has involved 250+ client organizations in 25 countries around the world.