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Wohlers Report 2002

Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Year 2002 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

Wohlers Report 2002 is a 250-page report developed with input from 49 experts, 47 service providers, 25 system manufacturers, and countless others worldwide.

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It includes 25 charts and graphs, 23 tables, and 87 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 also covers research and development activities, trends in CAD solid modeling, RP materials, medical modeling, and reverse engineering. Wohlers Report concludes with a review of the future of rapid prototyping, where it is headed, and what to do. The report includes many new sections and a matrix that compares 24 methods of tooling.

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
      • Metal castings
      • Early input from suppliers, toolmakers
      • Quote requests
      • Rapid tooling
      • Rapid manufacturing
      • Unlimited potential


    • Number of models being produced
    • Revenue growth
      • Revenues from products and services
      • 3D Systems dominates
      • Material sales
      • Revenues from service providers
      • Secondary market
      • Revenues from other services
    • Unit sales
      • 3D Systems leads
      • Systems sold by region
      • Cumulative systems sold by region
      • Units sold by U.S. manufacturers
      • Units sold by Japanese manufacturers
      • Cumulative unit sales by manufacturer
      • Unit sales by manufacturer and year
      • 3D printer 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
      • Investment casting
      • Working with service providers
      • Challenging times
      • What is driving prices downward?
      • What lies ahead?


    • Advances
      • Growing list of methods
      • Thermal management
      • Risk factors
    • Indirect approaches
      • Silicone rubber tooling
      • Epoxy-based composite tooling
      • Spray metal tooling
      • RSP Tooling
      • Ford’s Sprayform
      • Cast kirksite tooling
      • RPM (rubber plaster mold) casting
      • 3D Keltool
      • PolySteel
      • EcoTool
      • Swiftool
      • PHAST
      • V-Process
      • Others
    • Direct approaches
      • Direct AIM tooling
      • SLS tooling
      • DMLS
      • POM
      • Others
    • Other considerations
      • Machined tooling
      • Laminate tooling
      • Hybrid tooling
      • Space Puzzle Molding
      • Tool design software
      • Size of tooling market
      • Tooling comparison matrix


    • 3D Systems
      • Materials
      • SLS business
      • OptoForm
      • MJM
      • Other developments
    • Arcam
    • Beijing Yinhua
    • Cubic Technologies
    • EOS
      • EOS P 380
      • 20-micron metal powders
    • Envision Technologies
    • F&S GmbH
    • Generis
    • Kinergy
    • Objet
      • QuadraTempo
      • Support material
      • Sales underway
    • Optomec
    • ProMetal
      • R2, R4, and R10 products
      • Recent developments
    • Sanders Design International
    • Schroff Development
    • Solidica
    • Solidscape
    • Stratasys
      • Dimension
      • Other developments
    • Z Corp.
      • Z810
      • ZCast
      • Other activities
    • Others
      • Helisys
      • Cubital
      • Röders
      • BMT
      • Aaroflex
  • Real cost of RP
  • RP stocks
    • Revenues and earnings
    • Industry consolidation
    • Trends and areas of interest
    • Outlook


  • Asia
    • Hong Kong
    • China
    • Singapore
  • Japan
    • Unit sales
    • 3D copy shop
    • Japanese strategy
    • CMET, Sony/D-MEC, others
    • Acceptance of non-SL technologies
    • Sheet lamination systems
    • Developments, trends
    • Lagging software development
    • Accelerated growth expected
  • 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
    • Denken Engineering
    • Solidimension
    • BMT
    • Speed Part
  • Metal and ceramic parts
    • AeroMet
    • CAM-LEM
    • SRI International
    • Others
  • Small parts
    • microTEC
    • MEMGen
    • Mesoscale Integrated Conformal Electronics (MICE)
    • Others
  • Large objects
    • Generis
    • Others
  • MIT’s 3DP technology
    • 3DP process
    • Major areas of focus
    • ProMetal
    • Z Corp.
    • Soligen
    • Specific Surface
    • Therics
    • Others
  • 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


  • Growth of solid modeling
    • Getting good estimates
    • Seat and revenue estimates
    • Unsaturated market
  • RP materials
    • Stereolithography resins
    • Resin business in flux
    • Materials for other RP processes
    • 3D printers
  • Medical modeling
    • Medical imaging to RP
    • Materials for medical RP
    • Research
    • RP’s impact
  • Reverse engineering
    • The technology
    • 3D digitizing and scanning
    • Data modeling and surface creation
    • First article inspection
    • Note to the wise


  • Tough times, bright future
    • Economy
    • Something is missing
    • Necessity is the mother of invention
    • Silver lining
  • Formula for success
    • 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 digitizing systems
  • Appendix J: Reverse engineering software

Development Team

The following 49 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2002 and served as important sources for information.

Shreyas Bakshi Protosys Technologies Private Ltd. (India)
Umberto Baraldi CRIF (Belgium)
Alain Bernard IRCCyN – Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)
Nico Blessing FhG Institute for Mfg. Eng. & Automation (Germany)
Mike Braig A.G. Edwards & Sons
Tim Caffrey Caffrey Consulting
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling LLC
Chua Chee Kai Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
Stuart Clyens Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Amba Datt Bhatt Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College Allahabad (India)
Deon de Beer Technikon Free State (South Africa)
Jonas de Carvalho University of São Paulo – São Carlos (Brazil)
Philip Dickens Loughborough University (England)
Dimitri Dimitrov University of Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Thierry Dormal CRIF (Belgium)
Mike Durham Accelerated Technologies, Inc.
Willie du Preez CSIR (South Africa)
Frits Feenstra TNO Institute of Industrial Technology (The Netherlands)
Boris Fritz Northrop Grumman Corp.
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 Loughborough University (England)
Berndt Holmer IVF Industrial Research and Development Corp. (Sweden)
Masato Imamura Tokyo Research Center (Japan)
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Tahar Laoui University of Leuven (Belgium)
Debbie Leeson Vantico (South Africa)
Weiyin Ma City University of Hong Kong (China)
Bent Mieritz Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Bill Mutch Belcan Corp.
Mike Naylon Queensland Manufacturing Institute (Australia)
Andy Norwood Loughborough University (England)
Anshuman Razdan Arizona State University
Shi Yusheng Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China)
Michael Siemer Walt Disney World Company
Geoff Smith-Moritz CAD/CAM Publishing
Rupert Soar Loughborough University (England)
Brent Stucker University of Rhode Island
Dave Tait LFX Technologies
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
David Wimpenny De Montfort University (England)
Millan Yeung National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Jenny Yu Hoi Jin University of Hong Kong (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, T. A. Grimm & Associates, Inc.

Independent reviews of Wohlers Report 2002 and Wohlers Report 2001 are available.

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