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Wohlers Report 2001 Reveals Growth Figures and Forecasts in the RP Industry

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, May 8, 2001—Rapid prototyping (RP) system sales grew to a record high, according to a new report made available today by Wohlers Associates, Inc. Twenty-three system manufacturers worldwide sold 1,320 RP systems in 2000, compared to 1,178 in the previous year. “This represents an increase of 12.1% and a cumulative total of 6,755 machine installations in 58 countries,” said industry consultant, analyst, and author Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, Inc. These systems produced a staggering 3,004,006 models and prototype parts last year, according to Wohlers Report 2001.

Source: Wohlers Report 2001

The report also discusses new technologies and emerging trends. “Focusing on day-to-day business, I had a perception that RP was slowly progressing toward the future,” said Todd Grimm of Accelerated Technologies, Inc. of Erlanger, Kentucky and a significant contributor to the new report. After reading Wohlers Report 2001, that perception has changed. “The information and data that the report presents clearly shows that there are many exciting and powerful developments underway,” Grimm continued. “Without the report, I would be conducting business wearing blinders,” explained Grimm.

The report discloses that North America continues to dominate the use of rapid prototyping worldwide. At the end of last year, more than 45% of all RP machines were installed in this region of the world, as shown in the following chart. The estimates are cumulative totals from RP’s inception through 2000.

Source: Wohlers Report 2001

Among other regions of the world, Asia/Pacific has shown strong gains. At the end of 2000, 28.6% of the total worldwide installed base of machines was in operation in the Asia/Pacific region, compared to 24.6% in Europe, according to estimates published in Wohlers Report 2001. “Many in the industry believe that the use of RP in Asia lags that of Europe,” said Dr. Ian Gibson of the University of Hong Kong, another important contributor to the report. “At one time, this was true, but not any longer,” Gibson remarked.

Wohlers will share highlights of the new report at the Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2001 Conference & Exposition held in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 14-17, 2001. The presentation will provide growth figures and other developments and trends to a large international audience of users, producers, and researchers of RP technology. The conference will mark the ninth year that Wohlers will have delivered the State of the Industry address at the popular event. RP&M 2001, 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, paving the way to the annual conference and exposition.

Wohlers Report 2001 is a 250-page report developed with input from 53 industry experts, 43 service providers, 23 machine manufacturers, and countless others worldwide. It includes 26 charts and graphs, 32 tables, and 80 photographs and illustrations. This annual report has established a tradition of offering high-quality analyses that cover all facets of rapid prototyping, including business, product, market, technology, and applications. The report sells for $395 in the U.S. and $425 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 15-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, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.


The following 53 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2001 and served as important sources for information.

Shreyas Bakshi Protosys Technologies Private Ltd. (India)
Umberto Baraldi CRIF (Belgium)
Joseph Beaman University of Texas at Austin
Alain Bernard University of Nancy I (France)
Mike Braig A.G. Edwards & Sons
David Bourell University of Texas at Austin
William Broun A.G. Edwards & Sons
Tim Caffrey Caffrey Consulting
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling LLC
Stuart Clyens Danish Technological Institute
Amba Datt Bhatt Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College Allahabad (India)
Deon de Beer Technikon Free State (South Africa)
Philip Dickens De Montfort University (England)
Thierry Dormal CRIF (Belgium)
Willie du Preez CSIR (South Africa)
Frits Feenstra TNO Institute of Industrial Technology (The Netherlands)
Boris Fritz Northrop Grumman Corp.
Jerry Fu National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Vito Gervasi Milwaukee School of Engineering
Ian Gibson University of Hong Kong (China)
Tim Gornet University of Louisville
Tom Greaves New Directions Consulting
Joe Greco Greco Consulting
Ed Grenda Castle Island Company
Todd Grimm Accelerated Technologies, Inc.
Russ Harris De Montfort University (England)
Berndt Holmer IVF Industrial Research and Development Corp. (Sweden)
Masato Imamura Tokyo Research Center (Japan)
Haeseong Jee Hong-Ik University (Korea)
Jeng-Ywan Jeng National Taiwan University of Science and Tech. (Taiwan)
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Chua Chee Kai Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Tahar Laoui University of Leuven (Belgium)
Debbie Leeson Vantico (South Africa)
Scott Loose Queensland Manufacturing Institute (Australia)
Weiyin Ma Hong Kong City University (China)
Bent Mieritz Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Nele Motmans Materialise (Belgium)
Tom Mueller Infinite Group
Andy Norwood De Montfort University (England)
Bruce Okkema Eagle Design and Technology
David Prawel Janet Inc.
Anshuman Razdan Arizona State University
Geoff Smith-Moritz CAD/CAM Publishing
Rupert Soar De Monfort University (England)
Dave Tait LFX Technologies
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Kai Uwe Koch FhG Institute for Mfg Eng and Automation (Germany)
Pamela Waterman EngineeringInk
David Wimpenny University of Warwick (England)
Millan Yeung National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Shi Yusheng Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China)