Re: RP (Rapid Prototyping) & RT (Rapid Tooling) industry

From: Carol Farrish (
Date: Thu Jun 25 1998 - 22:35:29 EEST

Hi, again,

In the Wohlers Report on the state of the industry, you will note that
the RP market is assessed in terms of the dollar values of goods and
services sold - i.e., the number of machines sold, RPs sold, etc.
Wohlers shows graphs of current usage by industry. There are many
industries not even represented, especially those that sell to OEMS, not
end users. I'm betting the market has vast potential that has hardly
been tapped, especially now that desktop inkjet machines have expanded
the use for RPs.

In my company, which makes investmetn castings, we have always promoted
a system that used machinable wax to create a patterns, which we then
cast. This system worked fine for one or two pieces, but not for 20,
due to the labor. When a couple new engineers came here, our eyes were
opened to RP. Long-term employees who may have heard of RP but never
used it started thinking of the possibilities. We amy even buy a piece
of equipment to create rough prototypes and sales samples and outsource
larger jobs where a fine surface finish is required,

I bet our company is representative of many companies. Growing
awareness of RP couple with increasingly affordable machinery will
expand the market exponentially. As a side point, a few papers i've
pulled off the Internet reference the potential market for RPs in the
consumer market and predict that within a decade, some consumers may
have an RP machine sitting beside their computer.

C Farrish

Rick Harrington wrote:
> Hello all,
> A while back there was a discussion about the state of the industry and
> (what appeared to me) a slightly negative view about the growth.
> Does anyone know
> How many Design Engineers are in the US? Worldwide?
> How many know about RP & RT?
> How many use RP & RT.
> What I'm trying to get at is, how far have we really penetrated the market.
> Thanks again in advance.
> Rick Harrington
> Harrington Product Development Center
> "Bringing it all Together"
> Your partners in product development solutions
> Phone: (513)482-4700
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> Richard Harrington
> Harrington Product Development Center
> 1756 Tennessee Avenue
> Cincinnati, Ohio 45229
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

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