Wohlers Report 2000 Finds Encouraging Growth in RP

From: Terry T. Wohlers (twohlers@compuserve.com)
Date: Tue Apr 11 2000 - 23:28:34 EEST


Wohlers Report 2000 Finds Encouraging Growth
in the Rapid Prototyping Industry

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, April 11, 2000 -- Rapid prototyping (RP) machine sales
surged to a record high, according to a new report made available today by
Wohlers Associates, Inc. The growth in unit sales for 1999 was significant
in light of the poor results and overall decline experienced in 1998.

Twenty-three system manufacturers worldwide sold 1,195 RP systems in 1999,
compared to 981 in the previous year. "This represents an increase of 22%
and a cumulative total of nearly 5,500 machine installations in 53
countries," said industry consultant Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers
Associates, Inc. "These machines produced a staggering 2.34 million models
and prototype parts last year," Wohlers estimates.

The news was shared at the Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2000
Conference & Exposition held here this week. Wohlers presented the growth
figures and other developments and trends to an international audience of
an estimated 500 users, producers, and researchers of RP technology. The
event marked the eighth year that Wohlers delivered the rapid prototyping
State of the Industry address at the popular event. RP&M 2000, sponsored
by the Rapid Prototyping Association of the Society of Manufacturing
Engineers (RPA/SME), is the world's largest and most established conference
dedicated to rapid prototyping. In 1993, Wohlers led a group of 14
individuals from industry and academia to form RPA/SME.

"Last year, the rapid prototyping embers were rekindled through many
positive changes," said Todd Grimm of Accelerated Technologies, Inc. of
Hebron, Kentucky. Grimm was a key contributor to Wohlers Report 2000.
"Product sales have improved, and service bureaus, overall, are doing
better," he explained. The unsettling stories associated with company
failures are not forgotten, but they have faded. "Many companies are now
looking forward and are putting the past behind them," Grimm said.

The top three RP system manufacturers, as measured by unit sales, were 3D
Systems, Stratasys, and Sanders Prototype, with sales of 303, 293, and 129
systems, respectively. 3D Systems regained its leadership position after
losing the top spot to Stratasys in 1998. 3D Systems has been the unit
sales leader for 10 of the past 12 years, and it continues to lead in
revenues by a margin of about 2.5 to 1. However, Stratasys' growth
produced profit last year, while 3D Systems showed a loss.

3D printers played an important role in last year's expanded growth.
Wohlers Report 2000 shows that a substantial portion of unit sales were 3D
printers, a class of RP technology that is less expensive to purchase and

Thirty-six industry experts, 23 RP systems manufacturers, 44 service
providers, and countless others assisted with the development of Wohlers
Report 2000. The annual study has established a tradition of providing
high-quality analyses that cover all facets of RP, including business,
product, market, technology, and applications. The 227-page softbound
publication includes 28 charts and graphs, 26 tables, and 82 photographs
and illustrations. The report sells for $345 in the U.S. and $395 in all
other countries. The report's table of contents, as well as additional
information on the RP market and industry, are available at

Wohlers Associates, Inc. is a 14-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 strategic direction that gives companies an edge. His highly
sought after views and opinions come from years of collecting and analyzing
market data, coupled with work as an advisor to major organizations in the
U.S., South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

For more information, contact Wohlers Associates, Inc., 970-225-0086, fax
970-225-2027, twohlers@compuserve.com, WohlersAssociates.com.

Report Development Team

The following 36 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers
Report 2000 and served as important sources for information.

Alain Bernard, University of Nancy I (France)
Amba Datt Bhatt, Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College (India)
William Broun, A.G. Edwards & Sons
Tim Caffrey, Pratt & Whitney
Andy Christensen, Medical Modeling Corp.
Deon de Beer, Technikon Free State (South Africa)
Philip Dickens, De Montfort University (England)
Frits Feenstra, TNO Institute of Industrial Technology (The Netherlands)
Steve Gaspardo, Gaspardo & Associates, Inc.
Andreas Gebhardt, Centrum für Prototypenbau GmbH (Germany)
Ian Gibson, University of Hong Kong (China)
Todd Grimm, Accelerated Technologies, Inc.
Jan Willem Gunnink, TNO Institute of Industrial Technology (The
Berndt Holmer, Swedish Institute of Production Engineering (Sweden)
Elaine Hunt, Clemson University
Masato Imamura, Tokyo Research Center (Japan)
Luca Iuliano, Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Chua Chee Kai, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Flavio Kalnin, Sociedade Educacional de Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Kai Uwe Koch, Fraunhofer Institute for Mfg. Eng. and Automation (Germany)
Allan Lightman, University of Dayton
Scott Loose, Queensland Manufacturing Institute (Australia)
Bent Mieritz, Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Tom Mueller, Express Pattern
Bruce Okkema, Eagle Design and Technology
David Prawel, Spatial Inc.
Fritz Prinz, Stanford University
Geoff Smith-Moritz, CAD/CAM Publishing
Ben Staub, Bastech, Inc.
Dave Tait, ARRK Product Development Group
Jukka Tuomi, Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Pamela Waterman, EngineeringInk
David Wimpenny, University of Warwick (England)
Dong-Yol Yang, KAIST (Korea)
K.T. Yeung, Hong Kong Vocational Training Council (Hong Kong)
Millan Yeung, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)

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