New Report Now Available

From: Terry T. Wohlers (
Date: Fri May 07 1999 - 05:11:58 EEST


New Report Finds Rapid Prototyping Market in Slump

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, May 6, 1999 - Wohlers Associates, Inc. announced
today the immediate availability of a new publication titled Rapid
Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry: 1999 Worldwide Progress
Report. As many as 22 system manufacturers worldwide sold 990 rapid
prototyping (RP) systems in 1998, compared to 1,036 in 1997, according to
the report. This marks only the second time in history that unit sales
declined to a level below that of the prior year. This disappointing
decline compares to growth of 32% for 1997 and 51% for 1996.

On the heels of a weak 1997, revenues from RP sales and services fell more
sharply than in any previous year. This downturn in sales follows years of
impressive growth for most of the 1990s, when annual growth of 35-50% was
common. The slump in the industry that began in early 1997 has continued
through 1998 and into 1999.

Countless benefits of RP abound, with users reporting almost unbelievable
time and cost savings from applying this remarkable technology. This is at
odds with the stalled growth in the marketplace, and it is causing vast
confusion among vendors, customers, service providers, and investors. Some
believe the technology may fade over time while many others dismiss the
idea. Companies about to make strategic decisions related to rapid
prototyping are especially concerned that they might make the wrong
decision. Why has the RP market weakened, will it recover, and what should
a company do in the meantime?

Industry consultant Terry Wohlers answers these puzzling questions in the
new 221-page report. Wohlers has established a tradition of providing
high-quality analyses that cover all facets of RP including business,
product, market, technology, and applications. The softbound publication
includes 28 charts and graphs, 21 tables, and 54 photographs and
illustrations. The report sells for $345 in the U.S. and $395 outside the
U.S. The report's table of contents is listed below.

The new report is the result of months of careful data collection and
analysis based on time-tested methods. "We have formed alliances with many
companies and individuals to fully understand the trends in rapid
prototyping and tooling," Wohlers said. "We have total confidence in our
sources, methods of research, and reporting. "Our methodology delivers data
that is reliable and complete," he said. The company expects to make
improvements to the report each year, but has no plans to alter the methods
it uses to analyze and report the information. For strategic and
competitive reasons, the company does not publish its proprietary
methodology -- an approach that has taken the company many years to develop
and refine.

Wohlers Associates, Inc. is a 13-year old independent consulting firm that
works closely with manufacturing organizations to identify the best
approaches to rapid product development. As the company's principal
consultant, Terry Wohlers tracks new methods and technologies and
determines a direction that gives companies a strategic edge. His highly
sought after views and opinions come from years of collecting and analyzing
market data, coupled with his work as an advisor to major organizations in
the U.S., Europe, and Asia. You can reach the company at 970-225-0086, fax
970-225-2027, or e-mail Terry Wohlers at For
additional information on the RP market and industry, visit

  Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry:
  1999 Worldwide Progress Report


  Focus of this report
  Introduction to rapid prototyping and tooling

  History of RP systems
  Industries being served
     How RP models are being used
     Installations by country
     Engineering changes
     Good ideas and powerful proposals
     Concept models
     Early input from suppliers, toolmakers
     Prototypes and prototype tooling
     Metal castings
     Verifying CAD databases
     Styling, ergonomic studies
     Requesting quotes
     Packaging and shipping
     Critical to function

  A challenging time
  Revenue growth
     Secondary market
     Revenues from products and services
     Revenues from service bureaus
     Other service revenues
  Unit sales
     Stratasys regains the lead
     Systems sold by region in 1998
     Cumulative systems sold by region
     Units sold by U.S. manufacturers in 1998
     Units sold by Japanese manufacturers in 1998
     1998 unit sales by manufacturer
     Cumulative unit sales by manufacturer
     Unit sales by vendor and year
  Growth trends and sales forecasts
     Unit sales growth percentages
     Worldwide revenue estimates
     Annual revenue growth percentages
     Comparing growth of RP and machining markets
  Service bureaus
     Concentration of service bureaus
     Mix of machines
     Shrinking market
     Investment casting patterns
     Working with service bureaus
     Times have changed
     What is driving prices downward?
     More challenges are ahead
     Market saturation
     Plynetics Express: What went wrong?

  Advanced approaches
  Indirect approaches to tooling
     Silicone rubber tooling
     Aluminum-filled epoxy tooling
     Spray metal tooling
     RSP Tooling
     Metal spray tooling from DTI
     Cast kirksite tooling
     3D Keltool
     Dynamic Tooling
  Direct approaches to tooling
     Direct AIM tooling
     SLS RapidTool
     DMLS from EOS
  Other considerations
     Machined tooling
     Space Puzzle Molding
     Prototype tooling selection guide
     Size of tooling market

  3D Systems
     3D Keltool
  Beijing Yinhua
     Growing list of materials
     DirectTool products
     Micro shot peening
  Fockele & Schwarze
  Sanders Prototype
     New management
     Developing technology
  Schroff Development
     Operating costs
     Genisys Xs
  Z Corp.
  RP stocks
     Disappointing earnings
     Global economy
     Small cap stocks out of favor

     Markets embracing RP
     Unit sales growth
     Japanese strategy
     Developments and trends in Japan
     New RP system that uses LEDs
     Why has RP growth been slow?
     Tooling and high-speed machining in Japan
     EU support
     United Kingdom
     Fraunhofer activities
     The Netherlands
  Other regions
     South Africa
     RP groups and associations

  Development of system technology
     Directed Light Fabrication
     Controlled Metal Buildup
     Multi Jet Solidification
     Topographic Shell Fabrication
     Offset Fabrication
     University of Utah
  U.S. government-sponsored R&D
     NSF funding
  RP academic programs
     Hurdles and hindrances
     Research activities
     Beyond 2000

     Advances in computing
     Operating systems
     Open systems
     Growth of solid modeling
     Interoperability and data translation
     Product data management
     Machining STL data
  Software for RP
     Magics, Mimics
     View Expert, 3Data Expert
     3D View
     Rapid Prototyping Module
  The Internet
     Next day models
     3DQ Concepts
     Caught by surprise

  RP materials
     Stereolithography resins
     Materials for other RP processes
     3D printers
  Medical modeling
     Research areas in medical RP
     RP is impacting the lives of patients
  Reverse engineering
     How the technology works
     Laser digitizing systems
     What works, what doesn't
     Other advice

  Caught in the chasm
     Technology adoption life cycle
     CAD solid modeling as a gating factor
     RP's past
     RP's present state
     What needs to happen
     RP's future
  What to do
     Risks and land mines
     3D printing
     Rapid manufacturing
     Changes ahead
     Will digital models replace physical prototypes?
     Long-term outlook
  The future
     Systems of the future
     Future applications
  Where to learn more
     Internet mail list

  Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  Appendix B: Addresses of RP system manufacturers
     United States
  Appendix C: Rapid tooling technology developers
  Appendix D: RP software companies
  Appendix E: Material suppliers
  Appendix F: U.S. RP systems
  Appendix G: RP systems manufactured outside the U.S.
  Appendix H: Materials
  Appendix I: 3D digitizing systems

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:51:40 EEST