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Wohlers Report 1999

Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Year 1999 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






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Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry: 1999 Worldwide Progress Report. Wohlers Associates has established a tradition of providing high-quality analyses that cover all facets of RP including business, product, market, technology, and applications.

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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • About the author
  • Focus of this report
  • Introduction to rapid prototyping and tooling


  • History of RP systems
  • Industries being served
    • How RP models are being used
    • Installations by country
  • Applications
    • Communication
    • Engineering changes
    • Good ideas and powerful proposals
    • Concept models
    • Early input from suppliers, toolmakers
    • Prototypes and prototype tooling
    • Metal castings
    • Verifying CAD databases
    • Styling, ergonomic studies
    • Requesting quotes
    • Packaging and shipping
    • Critical to function


  • A challenging time
  • Revenue growth
    • Secondary market
    • Revenues from products and services
    • Revenues from service bureaus
    • Other service revenues
  • Unit sales
    • Stratasys regains the lead
    • Systems sold by region in 1998
    • Cumulative systems sold by region
    • Units sold by U.S. manufacturers in 1998
    • Units sold by Japanese manufacturers in 1998
    • 1998 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 machining markets
  • Service bureaus
    • Concentration of service bureaus
    • Mix of machines
    • Shrinking market
    • Investment casting patterns
    • Working with service bureaus
    • Times have changed
    • What is driving prices downward?
    • More challenges are ahead
    • Market saturation
    • Plynetics Express: What went wrong?


  • Advanced approaches
  • Indirect approaches to tooling
    • Silicone rubber tooling
    • Aluminum-filled epoxy tooling
    • Spray metal tooling
    • RSP Tooling
    • Sprayform
    • Metal spray tooling from DTI
    • Cast kirksite tooling
    • 3D Keltool
    • Dynamic Tooling
    • ExpressTool
    • CEMCOM
    • PHAST
  • Direct approaches to tooling
    • Direct AIM tooling
    • SLS RapidTool
    • DMLS from EOS
    • ExtrudeHone
    • LENS
  • Other considerations
    • Machined tooling
    • Space Puzzle Molding
    • Prototype tooling selection guide
    • Size of tooling market


  • 3D Systems
    • SLA-7000
    • ThermoJet
    • 3D Keltool
  • Aaroflex
  • Beijing Yinhua
  • Cubital
  • DTM
    • RapidTool
    • Growing list of materials
  • EOS
    • DirectTool products
    • Micro shot peening
  • Fockele & Schwarze
  • Helisys
  • Kinergy
  • Optomec
  • Sanders Prototype
    • New management
    • Developing technology
  • Schroff Development
    • Operating costs
    • Customers
  • Stratasys
    • Genisys Xs
    • Throughput
  • Z Corp.
    • Speed
    • Materials
  • Casualties
  • RP stocks
    • Disappointing earnings
    • Global economy
    • Small cap stocks out of favor


  • Japan
    • Markets embracing RP
    • Unit sales growth
    • Japanese strategy
    • Developments and trends in Japan
    • New RP system that uses LEDs
    • Why has RP growth been slow?
    • Tooling and high-speed machining in Japan
  • Europe
    • EU support
    • United Kingdom
    • Germany
    • Fraunhofer activities
    • France
    • Scandinavia
    • The Netherlands
  • Other regions
    • South Africa
    • Canada
    • RP groups and associations


  • Development of system technology
    • MicroTEC
    • Directed Light Fabrication
    • Controlled Metal Buildup
    • Multi Jet Solidification
    • Topographic Shell Fabrication
    • MIT
    • Offset Fabrication
    • Micromod
    • University of Utah
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • NSF funding
    • DoD
  • RP academic programs
    • Hurdles and hindrances
    • Research activities
    • Beyond 2000


    • Advances in computing
    • Operating systems
    • Open systems
    • Growth of solid modeling
    • Interoperability and data translation
    • Product data management
    • Machining STL data
  • Software for RP
    • SolidView
    • Magics, Mimics
    • View Expert, 3Data Expert
    • 3D View
    • Rapid Prototyping Module
    • Velocity2
  • The Internet
    • Next day models
    • 3DQ Concepts
    • Caught by surprise


  • RP materials
    • Stereolithography resins
    • Materials for other RP processes
    • 3D printers
  • Medical modeling
    • Research areas in medical RP
    • RP is impacting the lives of patients
  • Reverse engineering
    • How the technology works
    • Laser digitizing systems
    • What works, what doesn’t
    • Other advice


  • Caught in the chasm
    • Technology adoption life cycle
    • CAD solid modeling as a gating factor
    • RP’s past
    • RP’s present state
    • What needs to happen
    • RP’s future
  • What to do
    • Risks and land mines
    • 3D printing
    • Rapid manufacturing
    • Changes ahead
    • Will digital models replace physical prototypes?
    • Long-term outlook
  • The future
    • Systems of the future
    • Future applications
  • Where to learn more
    • Internet mail list
    • RPA/SME


  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: Addresses of RP system manufacturers
    • United States
    • Israel
    • Europe
    • Japan
    • Singapore
    • China
  • Appendix C: Rapid tooling technology developers
  • Appendix D: RP software companies
  • Appendix E: Material suppliers
  • Appendix F: U.S. RP systems
  • Appendix G: RP systems manufactured outside the U.S.
  • Appendix H: Materials
  • Appendix I: 3D digitizing systems

What Others are Saying

“Very easy to read. It gave me just what I was looking for.”
Douglas Freitag, Bayside Materials Technology

“Whether one is thinking of purchasing an RP device, checking into the sales of a particular company for investment purposes, or just desiring more information, Wohlers’ report delivers at every level.”
Joe Greco, Desktop Engineering Magazine

“It is very comprehensive, well organized, and well written. We will be pouring over the details for some time to come.”
Mike Rynerson, ExtrudeHone

“The section on rapid tooling is particularly interesting. Wohlers systematically looks at all the competing technologies on the market today and provides detailed information on how to best apply each of them.”
Engineering Automation Report

“As always, you have done a spectacular job collecting information from around the world on our ever-changing industry. I commend you on the depth and breadth of your labors.”
Marina Hatsopoulos, Z Corp.

“It’s my owner’s manual to the RP industry.”
Todd Grimm, Accelerated Technologies, Inc.

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