Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry:

1998 Worldwide Progress Report

Terry Wohlers

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Focus of this report
  • Introduction to rapid prototyping and tooling
  • Summary of 1997
    • Growth into other countries
    • 3D printers for concept modeling
    • Rapid tooling
    • Challenges for the future
  • History of RP systems
  • Industries being served
    • How RP models are being used
    • Installations by country
  • Time-to-market pressures
    • Communication
    • Engineering changes
    • Producing good ideas and powerful proposals
    • Developing concept models
    • Getting early input from suppliers, tool makers
    • Prototypes and prototype tooling
    • Metal castings
    • Verifying CAD databases
    • CAD databases
    • Styling, ergonomic studies
    • Requesting quotes
    • Packaging and shipping
    • Critical-to-function drawings
  • Downturn in the RP industry
  • Revenue growth
    • Secondary market
    • Product sales
    • Revenue from services
    • Service bureau market
    • Other service revenues
  • Unit sales
    • 3D regains the lead
    • Systems sold by region in 1997
    • Cumulative systems sold by region
    • Units sold by US manufacturers in 1997
    • Units sold by Japanese manufacturers in 1997
    • 1997 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 CNC machining
  • Service bureaus
    • Concentration of service bureaus
    • Working with service bureaus
    • Times have changed
    • What’s driving prices downward?
    • Challenges ahead
    • Temporary market saturation
    • Second wave of service bureaus
    • Mix of RP machines
  • Prototype tooling
    • Silicone rubber tooling
    • Direct AIM tooling
    • Aluminum-filled epoxy tooling
    • Spray metal tooling
    • Cast kirksite tooling
    • SLS RapidTool
    • 3D Keltool
    • Prototype tooling selection guide
  • New approaches to metal tooling
    • Competing against machined tooling
    • ExpressTool
    • CEMCOM
    • Dynamic Tooling
    • DMLS from EOS
    • ExtrudeHone
    • PHAST
    • Size of tooling market
  • RP materials
    • Stereolithography resins
    • Materials for other RP processes
  • Software for RP
    • Bridgeworks and SolidView
    • MAGICS, CT-Modeller
    • Rapid Prototyping Module
    • Rapid Tools
    • StlView
    • 3D View
    • Velocity2
  • US system manufacturers
    • 3D Systems
    • Aaroflex
    • DTM
    • Helisys
    • Sanders Prototype
    • Stratasys
    • What does a 3D printed model cost?
    • Z Corporation
    • Schroff Development
    • What happened to BPM?
  • RP stock values
    • RP stock indices
    • P/E ratios
    • Value of the US dollar
  • Europe
    • EU support
    • RP-related groups and associations
    • EuroMold
    • Next-day models
    • Fraunhofer activities
    • EOS
    • Fockele & Schwarze
  • Japan
    • Markets embracing RP
    • Unit sales growth
    • Unit installations
    • Trends in Japan
    • Obstacles to RP growth
    • Clinging to home-grown software
    • Tooling and high-speed machining in Japan
  • System developers from other regions
    • Cubital
    • Kinergy
  • New system developments
    • LENS technology at SNL
    • Directed Light Fabrication at LANL
    • Fraunhofer's Laser Generating
    • Topographic Shell Fabrication
    • MIT
    • Offset Fabrication
  • US government sponsored R&D programs
    • NSF funding
    • DARPA, ONR, NASA
  • RP education
    • Overcoming hurdles
    • Research activities
  • Trends in CAD/CAM/CAE
    • ACIS versus Parasolid
    • Windows compatibility
    • CAD unit installations
    • Software for industrial design
    • Machining STL files
    • Hardware and operating systems
    • UNIX sites willing to consider PCs
  • The Internet
  • Medical modeling
    • Skull model of young boy
    • Example models
    • Endoscopy project
    • Cervical spine pilot study
  • Reverse engineering
    • How the technology works
    • Laser digitizing systems
    • What works, what doesn’t
    • Other suggestions
  • Where’s it all headed?
    • Risks, land mines
    • Outlook
    • In some form, the technology is here to stay
    • Rapid manufacturing
  • The future
    • The challenge of prediction
    • 3D printing
    • Virtual prototyping
    • Systems of the future
    • Future applications
  • Final comments
  • Where to learn more
    • Internet mail list
    • RPA/SME
  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: Addresses of RP system manufacturers
    • United States
    • Israel and Europe
    • Japan
    • Singapore
  • Appendix C: Rapid tooling technology developers
  • Appendix D: RP software companies
  • Appendix E: US RP systems
  • Appendix F: RP systems outside the US
  • Appendix G: 3D digitizing systems