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Wohlers Report 2001

Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Year 2001 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

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.

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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 softbound publication focuses on the many important facets of rapid prototyping and tooling, including the industries being served, applications, revenues, unit sales, and forecasts. It also provides current information on trends with regard to service providers, advanced approaches to tooling, system manufacturers worldwide, RP stocks, and new developments in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. The report covers research and development activities, trends in CAD and the Internet, RP materials, medical modeling, and reverse engineering. Wohlers Report 2001 concludes with a review of the future of rapid prototyping, where it is 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
    • Quote requests
    • Rapid manufacturing
    • Unlimited potential


  • Moderate increase
    • Challenges ahead
    • Number of models being produced
  • Revenue growth
    • Revenues from products and services
    • Secondary market
    • Revenues from service providers
    • Revenues from other services
  • Unit sales
    • 3D Systems retains the lead
    • Systems sold by region
    • Cumulative systems sold by region
    • Units sold by U.S. manufacturers
    • Units sold by Japanese manufacturers
    • Recent unit sales by manufacturer
    • Cumulative unit sales by manufacturer
    • Unit sales by manufacturer and year
    • 3D printer unit sales by manufacturer 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 providers
    • Growth and location
    • Mix of machines
    • Market segment continues to shrink
    • Number of models produced annually
    • Patterns for investment casting
    • Working with service providers
    • Changing times
    • What is driving prices downward?
    • Future challenges
    • What lies ahead?


  • Advances
    • Growing list of methods
    • Thermal management
    • 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
    • EcoTool
    • Express Tool
    • CEMCOM
    • Swiftool
    • PHAST
  • Direct approaches
    • Direct AIM tooling
    • Rapid tooling from DTM
    • DMLS
    • Solidica
    • ProMetal
    • LENS
    • POM
  • Other considerations
    • Machined tooling
    • Laminate tooling
    • Hybrid tooling
    • Space Puzzle Molding
    • Prototype tooling selection guide
    • Tool design software
    • Size of tooling market


  • 3D Systems
    • Stereolithography
    • DTM acquisition
    • Other agreements
    • 3D Keltool
  • Aaroflex
  • Beijing Yinhua
  • BMT
  • Cubital
  • DTM
    • New materials
    • Rapid manufacturing
    • Acquisition
  • EOS
    • EOS P 700
    • DirectSteel 20-V1
    • Other developments
  • F&S GmbH
  • Helisys
  • Kinergy
  • Objet
    • Product features
    • Unanswered questions
    • Availability
  • Optomec
  • ProMetal
  • Röders
  • Sanders Design International
  • Schroff Development
  • Solidscape
  • Stratasys
    • FDM Titan
    • Prodigy
    • FDM Maxum
  • Z Corp.
    • Z406
    • Z400
    • Agreements with HP and Xerox
    • Other developments
  • RP stocks
    • Record earnings
    • Factors influencing growth


  • Asia
    • Hong Kong
    • Mainland China
    • Singapore
    • Korea
    • Taiwan
  • Japan
    • Unit sales growth
    • 3D copy shop
    • Japanese strategy
    • Largest RP machine manufacturer acquired
    • Changing strategies
    • Developments and trends
    • Sheet lamination machines
    • Other machines and technology
    • Why RP growth has been slow
  • Europe
    • RAPTIA
    • United Kingdom
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • France
    • Sweden
    • Finland
    • Denmark
    • The Netherlands
    • Belgium
  • Other regions
    • Brazil
    • India
    • South Africa
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • RP groups and associations


  • Developments, patents
  • 3D printers and concept modelers
    • Solidimension
    • BMT
    • Speed Part
    • Others
  • Fabrication of metal and ceramic parts
    • POM
    • AeroMet
    • Arcam
    • Solidica
    • CAM-LEM
    • SRI International
    • Others
  • Small parts
    • microTEC
    • MICE
    • Others
  • Large objects
    • Generis
    • University of Utah
  • MIT’s 3DP technology
    • Major areas of focus
    • ProMetal
    • Z Corp.
    • Soligen
    • Specific Surface
    • Therics
    • Pfaltzgraff
    • MMCC
    • TDK
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • NSF funding
    • DoD funding
    • DoC funding
  • RP academic programs
    • RP educational activities
    • Basic research activities
    • Applied research activities
    • Future trends and contributions from academia


    • Advances in computing
    • Operating systems
    • User interface
    • Collaboration
    • Feature-based translation
    • Other interoperability issues
    • 2D legacy data
    • Growth of solid modeling
  • Software for RP and related applications
    • SolidView
    • Magics, Mimics, and Magics Communicator
    • View Expert and 3Data Expert
    • 3D View
    • Rapid Prototyping Module
    • Geomagic Studio
    • Paraform
    • Velocity2
    • Rhino
    • StlView
  • The Internet phenomenon
    • Bandwidth continues to explode
    • B2B e-commerce
    • Peer-to-peer computing architectures
    • Application service providers
    • Customer relationship management
    • Supply chain management
    • Content management


  • 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 conjoined twins in Australia
  • Reverse engineering
    • The technology
    • 3D data collection
    • Data modeling (a.k.a. creating surfaces)
    • First article inspection
    • Note to the wise


  • Bright future
    • Technology adoption life cycle
    • The chasm, bowling alley, and tornado
  • System manufacturers
    • Large company explodes onto the market
    • U.S. economy
    • Formula for success
  • Future developments
  • Divergent paths
    • 3D printing
    • Rapid manufacturing
  • What to expect
    • Last great barrier
    • New rules
  • Where to learn more
    • Internet mail list
    • GARPA
    • RPA/SME


  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: 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: Material properties
  • Appendix I: 3D data collection systems
  • Appendix J: Reverse engineering software

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)
Jonas de Carvalho University of São Paulo – São Carlos (Brazil)
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)


What Others are Saying

“The report has become a virtual “Bible” of RP … comprehensive and well organized … and is highly recommended.”
David Cohn, Engineering Automation Report

“Nothing comes close to the authoritative and comprehensive nature of this annually-updated report. It has something for everybody and I highly recommend it.”
Jeffrey Rowe, MCADCafe.com

“I was in the market for a new RP machine and bought the report as an insurance policy. It definitely paid off.”
Kurt Blankemeyer, GTO

“The report offers the most up-to-date information that is available to us and it continues to improve each year.”
Ranji Vaidyanathan, Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc.

“It’s a great, concise report that covers the globe.I don’t know of any other document that is as complete.”
Tom Greaves, New Directions Consulting

“You are providing a valuable service to the industry.”
Brent Ragsdale, Hallmark

“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.

“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 comprehensive, well organized, and well written. We will be pouring over the details for some time to come.”
Mike Rynerson, Extrude Hone

“The report gave me the best and most concise view of the industry.”
Reagan Hogerty, Jordan Industries, Inc.

“The report has helped our company immensely in selling RP and RT internally to our design, manufacturing, and management staff.”
Glenn Anderson, Southco Inc.

“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

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

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