Participating in the first 30+ years of the AM industry has been a privilege. The research, commercial, and government sectors have learned a lot over this period. Fortunately, only two significant downturns in revenue growth occurred. The first was during the dot-com collapse (2001‒2002) and second during the Great Recession (2008‒2009). It’s difficult to name another industry that has grown by nearly 27% annually, on average, over a period of three decades.
For many, today’s AM industry is more interesting than its past. Currently, AM represents an extraordinary range of research projects, startup companies, and new products and services—much of which was not considered previously. The possibilities for what’s ahead are especially intriguing. To have any chance of predicting it, one must have a good grasp of the current state of AM. What we know about AM is fascinating, but what we don’t know is even more exciting.