[rp-ml] New Industry Study Reports 33% Growth

From: Terry Wohlers (tw@wohlersassociates.com)
Date: Tue May 10 2005 - 20:31:29 EEST

New Industry Study Reports 33% Growth of Products
and Services in Additive Fabrication

Additive Processes for Prototyping, Tooling, and
Manufacturing Poised for Future Growth and New Applications
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN, USA, May 10, 2005 -- Wohlers Associates, Inc. today published its most recent findings in Wohlers Report 2005, a 256-page worldwide progress report on the rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing state of the industry. Last year, the worldwide market for additive fabrication, consisting of all products and services, grew to $705.2 million, up an impressive 33.3% from $528.9 million in 2003. In 2002 and 2001, industry revenues declined by 10% and 10.5%, respectively.

"In early 2004, the rockets were ignited and liftoff was imminent," said Terry Wohlers, principal author of Wohlers Report 2005 and president of Wohlers Associates, Inc. "This year was met with a spectacular launch. All data shows that the industry is once again on a steep, upward trajectory," Wohlers stated. "Revenues and unit sales are strong and material sales are better than ever. And the number of parts being produced annually is impressive."

The new worldwide study reports that sales of 3D printers nearly doubled, with machine sales ascending to unparalleled heights. Stratasys, with its popular Dimension product, is again leading the pack. Z Corporation has secured second place in the annual unit sales race for the second consecutive year. A large installed base is more important than ever as companies build their businesses around recurring revenues from consumables.

Rapid manufacturing-the direct production of finished goods from additive fabrication-is showing an interesting, though not totally unexpected, upward growth trend. Organizations that use additive processes to manufacture end-use parts indicate that activity has increased from 3.9% in 2003 to 6.6% in 2004, and now to 8.2% in 2005. Wohlers Associates believes that rapid manufacturing will grow to become the largest application of additive fabrication in the future.

The release of Wohlers Report 2005 coincides with the Society of Manufacturing Engineer's Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2005 Conference and Exposition, which began today and ends May 12 here in Dearborn. In today's plenary session, Terry Wohlers presented highlights of the report in his annual State of the Industry address. RP&M 2005 marks the 13th consecutive year in which Wohlers has been invited to present his views, analysis, and opinions on this fast-changing industry.

Wohlers Report 2005 covers all facets of the industry, including business, product, market, technology, research, and application. Forty-nine co-authors, 47 service providers, 24 system manufacturers, and countless others assisted with its development. To support the review and analysis, the softbound publication includes 24 charts and graphs, 36 tables, 97 photographs and illustrations, and seven appendices.
The new report sells for $425 in the U.S. and $445 in all other countries. The report's table of contents, as well as additional information on the additive fabrication market and industry, are available at http://wohlersassociates.com.

Wohlers Associates, Inc. is a 19-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 Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa.

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