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Wohlers Report 2000

Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Year 2000 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

Wohlers Report 2000 is a 227-page report developed with input from 37 industry experts, 44 service providers, 23 machine manufacturers, and countless others worldwide.

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Wohlers Report 2000 is a 227-page report developed with input from 37 industry experts, 44 service providers, 23 machine manufacturers, and countless others worldwide. It includes 28 charts and graphs, 26 tables, and 82 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 softbound publication focuses on many important elements of rapid prototyping and tooling, including the industries being served, applications, revenues, unit sales, and forecasts. It also provides current information on trends with regards to service providers, advanced approaches to tooling, machine manufacturers worldwide, RP stocks, and new developments in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The report covers research and development activities, trends in CAD and the Internet, materials for rapid prototyping, medical modeling, and reverse engineering. The report concludes with a review of the future of rapid prototyping, where it’s headed, and what to do.

Table of Contents

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
    • Verifying CAD databases
    • Styling, ergonomic studies
    • Functional testing
    • Prototypes and prototype tooling
    • Metal castings
    • Early input from suppliers, toolmakers
    • Requesting quotes


  • Improving market
    • Number of models being produced
    • Encouraging growth, challenges ahead
  • Revenue growth
    • Revenues from products and services
    • Secondary market
    • Revenues from service bureaus
    • Other service revenues
  • Unit sales
    • 3D Systems regains the lead
    • Systems sold by region in 1999
    • Cumulative systems sold by region
    • Units sold by U.S. manufacturers in 1999
    • Units sold by Japanese manufacturers in 1999
    • 1998-1999 unit sales by manufacturer
    • Cumulative unit sales by manufacturer
    • Unit sales by vendor and year
    • 3D printer 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
    • Market segment continues to shrink
    • Number of models produced by SBs
    • Patterns for investment casting
    • Working with service bureaus
    • Changing times
    • What is driving prices downward?
    • More challenges are ahead
    • Market is improving
    • What lies ahead?


  • Advances
    • Growing list of methods
    • Conformal cooling channels
    • Risk factors
  • Indirect approaches
    • Silicone rubber tooling
    • Aluminum-filled epoxy tooling
    • Spray metal tooling
    • RSP Tooling
    • Ford’s Sprayform
    • Cast kirksite tooling
    • 3D Keltool
    • PolySteel
    • Express Tool
    • CEMCOM
    • Swiftool
    • PHAST
  • Direct approaches
    • Direct AIM tooling
    • Copper Polyamide
    • RapidTool
    • DMLS
    • ProMetal
    • LENS
  • Other considerations
    • Machined tooling
    • Laminate tooling
    • Hybrid tooling
    • Space Puzzle Molding
    • Prototype tooling selection guide
    • Tool design software
    • Size of tooling market


  • 3D Systems
    • New management
    • ThermoJet
    • 3D Keltool
  • Aaroflex
  • Beijing Yinhua
  • Cubital
  • DTM
    • Increasing number of materials
    • RapidTool
  • EOS
  • F&S GmbH
  • Helisys
  • Kinergy
  • Objet
  • Optomec
  • Röders
  • Sanders Prototype
    • Sanders Design International
    • Buss Müller Technology
  • Schroff Development
  • Stratasys
    • WaterWorks
    • Simplicity, throughput
  • Z Corp.
    • Color system
    • Materials
  • RP stocks
    • Improving earnings
    • Global economy
    • Market sentiment towards small cap stocks improving


  • Asia
    • Sales activity
    • Factors affecting RP involvement in Asia
  • Japan
    • Markets embracing RP
    • Unit sales growth
    • Japanese strategy
    • Developments and trends in Japan
    • RP system using LEDs
    • Material and software developments
    • 3D printing for concept modeling
    • Why has RP growth been slow?
    • Tooling and high-speed machining in Japan
  • Europe
    • EU support
    • United Kingdom
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • France
    • Sweden
    • Finland
    • Denmark
    • The Netherlands
  • Other regions
    • Brazil
    • India
    • South Africa
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • RP groups and associations


  • Developments, patents
    • Buss Müller Technology
    • MicroTEC
    • Precision Optical Manufacturing
    • CAM-LEM
    • Offset Fabrication
    • Micromod
    • University of Utah
    • MIT’s 3DP technology, licensees
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • NSF funding
    • DoD
  • RP academic programs
    • Hurdles and hindrances
    • Research activities


    • Advances in computing
    • Operating systems
    • Growth of solid modeling
    • Interoperability and data translation
    • Viewing and visual collaboration
    • Machining STL data
  • Software for RP
    • SolidView
    • Magics, Mimics, and Magics Communicator
    • View Expert and 3Data Expert
    • 3D View
    • Rapid Prototyping Module
    • Velocity2
    • Rhino
    • StlView
  • The Internet phenomenon
    • Internet-based software
    • Collaboration tools
    • Information retrieval
    • Part geometry on-line
    • Quoting on the web
    • RP community shares information


  • 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
    • RP helps forensic anthropologists
  • Reverse engineering
    • How the technology works
    • Methods of data collection
    • Final advice


  • Climbing the chasm walls
    • Technology adoption life cycle
    • CAD solid modeling as a gating factor
    • RP’s past
    • RP today
    • What needs to happen
    • The tornado
    • How do identify emergence from the chasm
    • Incremental, complementary, and replacement technology
    • 3D printing: complementary or replacement?
    • Objet’s impact
    • Virtual prototyping: will it be a replacement?
    • What to expect
  • The future
    • 3D printing
    • Will digital models replace physical prototypes?
    • Rapid manufacturing
    • Changes ahead
    • Long-term outlook
    • Systems of the future
    • Future applications
  • What to do
  • Where to learn more
    • Internet mail list
    • GARPA
    • RPA/SME


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

The following individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2000 and served as important sources for information.

Alain Bernard University of Nancy I (France)
Amba Datt Bhatt Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College (India)
William Broun A.G. Edwards & Sons
Tim Caffrey Pratt & Whitney
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling Corp.
Deon de Beer Technikon Free State (South Africa)
Philip Dickens De Montfort University (England)
Frits Feenstra TNO Institute of Industrial Technology (The Netherlands)
Steve Gaspardo Gaspardo & Associates, Inc.
Andreas Gebhardt Centrum für Prototypenbau GmbH (Germany)
Ian Gibson University of Hong Kong (China)
Todd Grimm Accelerated Technologies, Inc.
Jan Willem Gunnink TNO Institute of Industrial Technology (The Netherlands)
Berndt Holmer Swedish Institute of Production Engineering (Sweden)
Elaine Hunt Clemson University
Masato Imamura Tokyo Research Center (Japan)
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Chua Chee Kai Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Flavio Kalnin Sociedade Educacional de Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Kai Uwe Koch FhG Institute for Mfg Eng and Automation (Germany)
Allan Lightman University of Dayton
Scott Loose Queensland Manufacturing Institute (Australia)
Bent Mieritz Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Tom Mueller Express Pattern
Bruce Okkema Eagle Design and Technology
David Prawel Spatial Inc.
Fritz Prinz Stanford University
Geoff Smith-Moritz CAD/CAM Publishing
Ben Staub Bastech, Inc.
Dave Tait ARRK Product Development Group
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Pamela Waterman EngineeringInk
David Wimpenny University of Warwick (England)
Dong-Yol Yang KAIST (Korea)
K.T. Yeung Hong Kong Vocational Training Council (Hong Kong)
Millan Yeung National Research Council of Canada (Canada)

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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