Wohlers Report 2004 Finds Unprecedented Growth in Low-End Rapid Prototyping Machine Sales

Rapid Prototyping Industry Reverses Its Downward Trend

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN, USA, May 11, 2004—Wohlers Associates, Inc. today announced the availability of Wohlers Report 2004, a worldwide progress report on the rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing state of the industry. The report covers all facets of the industry, including business, product, market, technology, research, and application. Forty-five experts, 42 service providers, 28 system manufacturers, and countless others assisted with its development. To support the review and analysis, the softbound publication includes 23 charts and graphs, 38 tables, 79 photographs and illustrations, and seven appendices.

Last year, the rapid prototyping industry reversed its downward trend, the 270-page report reveals. Revenues returned to levels of the past, with product revenues gaining impressively. “Low-end machine sales soared to unprecedented heights, with 3D printers becoming the crown jewel of the RP industry,” stated Terry Wohlers, principal author of the report and president of Wohlers Associates. “With the increase in the number of machines sold and installed, the total number of models being produced annually also grew,” he explained. (See the following graph.) “Consequently, material sales were strong.”

The release of the new report coincides with the Society of Manufacturing Engineer’s Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2004 Conference and Exposition, which began today and ends May 13 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 2004 marks the 12th consecutive year in which Wohlers has presented his views, analysis, and opinions on this constantly changing industry at the RP&M event.

In today’s presentation and in the report, Wohlers explained that Stratasys is inching its way toward dominance as it unseats 3D Systems as the king of rapid prototyping. And Z Corporation has moved up to the number two position in annual unit sales. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to maintain its grip on both the production and consumption of RP systems.

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 RP market and industry, are available at https://wohlersassociates.com.

Wohlers Associates, Inc. is an 18-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.

Report Development Team

The following 45 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2004 and served as important sources for information.

Paulo Jorge Bártolo Institute Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal)
Joseph Beaman University of Texas at Austin
Alain Bernard Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)
Paul Besl General Motors
Nico Blessing FhG Institute for Mfg. Eng. & Automation (Germany)
David Bourell University of Texas at Austin
Tim Caffrey Caffrey Consulting
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling LLC
Vesna Cota Tyco Electronics Canada Ltd. (Canada)
Deon de Beer Technikon Free State (South Africa)
Jonas de Carvalho University of São Paulo – São Carlos (Brazil)
Carl Dekker Met-L-Flo Inc.
Philip Dickens Loughborough University (England)
Mike Durham Accelerated Technologies
Jim Gentrup Provident Equity Research
Vito Gervasi Milwaukee School of Engineering
Ian Gibson University of Hong Kong (China)
Tim Gornet University of Louisville
Joe Greco Greco Consulting
Andrzej Grzesiak FhG Institute for Mfg. Eng. & Automation (Germany)
Richard Hague Loughborough University (England)
Russ Harris Loughborough University (England)
Berndt Holmer IVF Industrial Research and Development Corp. (Sweden)
Neil Hopkinson Loughborough University (England)
Masato Imamura Sintokogio Ltd. (Japan)
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Rik Knoppers TNO Industrial Technology (The Netherlands)
Tahar Laoui University of Leuven (Belgium)
Candice Majewski Loughborough University (England)
Bent Mieritz Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Bill Morgan Plastech, a division of Mobile Area Networks, Inc.
Tom Mueller Express Pattern
Claire Reed Wohlers Associates, Inc.
Joel Segal University of Nottingham (England)
Michael Siemer Walt Disney World Company
Adam Smith Utah State University
Geoff Smith-Moritz CAD/CAM Publishing
Rupert Soar Loughborough University (England)
Tom Sorovetz DaimlerChrysler
Brent Stucker Utah State University
Chris Tuck Loughborough University (England)
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Jonas Van Vaerenbergh University of Leuven (Belgium)
Pamela Waterman EngineeringInk
David Wimpenny De Montfort University (England)
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