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Wohlers Report 2007

Trends... Analysis... Commentary. Commentary. Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Year 2007 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

Wohlers Report 2007, available as a PDF, provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of additive fabrication (AF) worldwide.

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220-page color PDF includes:

  • New developments and business opportunities.
  • Industry growth estimates and forecasts.
  • Emerging industrial applications.
  • Research and development.
  • What the future holds.

ISBN 0-9754429-3-7

The technology encompasses a wide range of applications, including design concept review, prototyping, testing, pattern making, tool making, manufacturing fixtures and assembly aids, custom and replacement part manufacturing, special edition products, short-run production, and even series production. The report covers the growing range of applications and technologies, as well as the challenges that organizations face when trying to understand and make use of this fast-developing technology.

The report was developed with input from 50 co-authors, 56 service providers, 29 system manufacturers, and many others worldwide. To support the review and analysis, the softbound publication includes 32 charts and graphs, 47 tables, 97 photographs and illustrations, and eight appendices. This annual study has established a tradition of covering all facets of additive fabrication, including business, product, market, technology, research, and application.

Wohlers Report 2007 addresses many facets of AF, including its history, the wide mix of applications, the industries embracing the technology, annual revenues from products and services, growth estimates, sales forecasts, and investor information. It also provides current information on trends and developments in the areas of service providers, system manufacturers, cast metal parts, direct metal fabrication, advanced approaches to tooling, and exciting new applications of rapid manufacturing.

The study reports on new developments in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world, documents the growth of CAD solid modeling, follows the advances in the materials used for additive processes, highlights opportunities in medical modeling, and lists applications and technologies for 3D scanning and reverse engineering.

The final parts of the report cover emerging technologies, government-sponsored research and development, and college and university education and research. Wohlers Report 2007 concludes with a discussion on the future of additive fabrication—where it is headed and what to expect—to assist in strategic planning and investing.

Table of Contents

About the author
Focus of this report
Introduction to additive fabrication


  • History of additive fabrication
    • Introduction of non-SL systems
    • Introduction of 3D printers
    • New generation machines
    • The past 12 months
    • Early inventions
  • Industries and regions benefiting from the technology
    • How companies are applying additive processes
    • Installations by country
  • Applications
    • Communication
    • Engineering changes
    • Powerful ideas and proposals
    • Concept models
    • Verifying CAD databases
    • Styling and ergonomics
    • Fit and functional testing
    • Prototyping
    • Metal castings
    • Requests for quotes
    • Tooling
    • Manufacturing of parts
    • Unlimited potential


  • Revenue growth and forecasts
    • Revenues from products and services
    • Annual revenue growth percentages
    • Material sales
    • Revenues from service providers
    • Secondary market
    • Revenues from other services
  • Unit sales growth and forecasts
    • Unit sales growth percentages
    • Stratasys widens its lead
    • Systems sold by region
    • Cumulative systems sold by region
    • Market shares by U.S. manufacturers
    • Cumulative market shares by manufacturer
    • Unit sales by manufacturer and year
    • 3D printer sales
  • Service providers
    • Process popularity
    • Slowing decline
    • Improving conditions
    • The future
    • Service providers adapt
    • What’s ahead


  • Arcam
  • Concept Laser
  • Cubic Technologies
  • Desktop Factory
  • Envisiontec
  • EOS
    • New systems
    • Latest materials
  • Ex One
  • MCP
  • Next Factory
  • Objet Geometries
  • Optomec
  • Phenix Systems
  • POM
  • ProMetal
  • Solidica
  • Solidimension
  • Solidscape
  • Sony
  • Speed Part
  • Stratasys
    • Expanded distribution
    • Products and services
    • Other developments
  • 3D Systems
    • V-Flash
    • Other products
    • New developments
  • Trumpf
  • Voxeljet
  • Z Corp.
    • New systems
    • Latest materials
    • Other developments
  • Others
    • Investor update
    • Revenues and earnings
    • Outlook


  • Asia
    • Strong activity
    • Northern Asia
    • Southeast Asia
    • Industrial sectors and applications
    • Chinese system manufacturers
    • Korean system manufacturers
    • India
  • Japan
    • State of the industry
    • Stereolithography remains popular
    • Acceptance of other additive processes
    • Microstereolithography
    • 3D printers
    • Tooling and the role of service providers
    • CAD solid modeling
    • The future
  • Europe
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
    • Germany
    • France
    • Spain
    • Portugal
    • Sweden
    • Finland
    • Denmark
    • The Netherlands
    • Belgium
  • Other regions
    • South Africa
    • Canada
    • Groups and associations


  • Direct metal fabrication
    • Laser-based, powder-bed systems
    • Powder deposition systems
    • Other approaches
    • Need for materials testing
  • Cast metal parts
    • Investment casting
    • Sand, V-Process, and plaster mold casting
    • LS, ProMetal, and ZCast
    • Die casting
  • Tooling solutions
  • High-performance tooling
  • Indirect tooling approaches
    • RSP Tooling
    • Reconfigurable Tooling Systems
    • Other options
  • Direct approaches
    • Laser Consolidation
    • SLS tooling
    • DMLS
    • Others
  • Other options
    • CNC-machined tooling
    • Hybrid tooling
  • Size of tooling market


  • Another industrial revolution?
  • Benefits and barriers
    • Design freedom
    • Industrial design
    • Customer-driven design
    • Part consolidation and optimization
    • Product personalization
    • Logistics and supply chains
  • Applications and industries
    • Aerospace
    • Military
    • Motor sports
    • Automotive
    • Machinery
    • Medical and dental
    • Consumer products
    • Art and jewelry
    • Gifts, awards, and trophies
    • Future possibilities
  • When it makes sense
    • Shape and size
    • Production volume
    • Quality
  • Cost analysis and economics
    • Production implications
    • Strategic implications
  • Challenges and required research
    • Processes
    • Materials
    • Organization, management, and supply chain issues


  • Growth of CAD solid modeling
    • Major trends
    • Revenue and seat count estimates
    • Operating systems
    • What’s next?
  • Materials
    • LS powders
    • SL resins
    • Other materials
    • Coatings and surface treatments
    • Rapid manufacturing
    • Predicting the performance of injection-molded parts
  • Medical applications
    • Medical image-processing software
    • Materials suited to medical modeling
    • Additive methods suited to medical modeling
    • Implantable additive parts
    • Injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan
    • Walter Reed Army Medical Center
  • 3D scanning and reverse engineering
    • 3D scanning hardware
    • Processing software
    • Applications
    • Technology
    • Limitations and other issues
    • Polygon meshes and surfaces
    • Caveats and conclusions


  • Patents
  • Technology development
    • Process development
    • Materials
    • Applications
  • Nanomanufacturing
    • Examples
    • Approaches
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • National Science Foundation
    • Meso, micro, and nanoscale technology
    • Process improvements, material developments, and new applications
    • Composites, multi-materials, and functionally graded materials
    • Medicine
    • Education
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Defense
    • NASA
  • College and university education and research
    • Educational activities in additive fabrication
    • Research and teaching
    • Future trends and contributions


  • 3D printing for design and modeling
  • Mainstream systems
  • Systems for rapid manufacturing
    • Application areas
    • Short-run production
    • Complex shapes and assemblies
    • Multi-functional components
  • Indirect rapid manufacturing
  • Tooling
  • Summary
  • Where to learn more
    • Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations
    • Rapid Technologies and Additive Manufacturing Community


  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: System and material manufacturers
    • Canada
    • China
    • France
    • Germany
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • Sweden
    • United States
  • Appendix C: U.S. system specifications
  • Appendix D: Systems manufactured outside the U.S.
  • Appendix E: Material properties
  • Appendix F: Metal fabrication comparison matrix
  • Appendix G: 3D scanning systems
  • Appendix H: 3D scan processing software

Development Team

The following 50 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2007 and served as important sources for information.

Mukesh Agarwala 3D Product Development (India)
Paulo Jorge Bártolo Institute Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal)
Joseph Beaman University of Texas at Austin
Alain Bernard Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)
David Bourell University of Texas at Austin
Tim Caffrey Seventh Son Creative Services
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling LLC
Rob Connelly FineLine Prototyping
Kenneth Cooper NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Vesna Cota Tyco Electronics (Canada)
Deon de Beer Central University of Technology, Free State (South Africa)
Dena Braun Alchemy Models Inc.
Carl Dekker Met-L-Flo Inc.
Philip Dickens Loughborough University (England)
Thierry Dormal CRIF (Belgium)
Mike Durham Accelerated Technologies
Boris Fritz Northrop Grumman
Ping Fu Geomagic, Inc.
Vito Gervasi Milwaukee School of Engineering
Ian Gibson National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Tim Gornet University of Louisville
Andrzej Grzesiak FhG Institute for Mfg. Eng. & Automation (Germany)
Joan Guasch ASCAMM (Spain)
Richard Hague Loughborough University (England)
Axel Henning FhG Institute for Mfg. Eng. & Automation (Germany)
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)
Olivier Jay Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Troy Jensen Piper Jaffray
Rik Knoppers Promolding (The Netherlands)
Toshihiko Maeda NTT Data Engineering Systems Corp. (Japan)
Greg Morris Morris Technologies
Tom Mueller Express Pattern
Takeo Nakagawa Fine Tech Corp. (Japan)
Charlie Norton NCP Leasing, Inc.
G.D. Janaki Ram Utah State University
Jeffrey Rowe Cairowest Digital Development
Max Ruffo Loughborough University (England)
Joel Segal University of Nottingham (England)
Michael Siemer Mydea Technologies
Brent Stucker Utah State University
Chris Sutcliffe University of Liverpool (England)
Chris Tuck Loughborough University (England)
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Jonas Van Vaerenbergh Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Millan Yeung National Research Council (Canada)
David Wimpenny De Montfort University (England)

What Others are Saying

“If you need to know anything about where this technology is today or where it is going tomorrow, Wohlers Report 2007 is your guide.”
Anthony J. Lockwood, former editorial director, Desktop Engineering

“It is taking some time to get through your report because I’m underlining all the useful information and using it in my company’s internal reports. Thanks, … it is really a fantastic job.”
Dr. Livia Cevolini, CRP Technology (Italy)

“The 2006 report is a real mine of information. It is impressive how you manage to collate all this information.”
Dr. Mike Shellabear, EOS (Germany)

“Your report was very highly valued as we conducted our due diligence prior to acquiring Z Corp. It is highly professional and understandable, even to those new to this industry.”
Steen Borg, CEO, The Contex Group (Denmark)

“Terry Wohlers is the spokesperson for the overall rapid prototyping industry. Every year, he publishes the Wohlers Report, a comprehensive rundown of advances. He represents better than anyone else the mainstream prototyping industry.”
Preston Smith, Lead Co-author of Developing Products in Half the Time

“I have purchased market reports in other industries for $30,000 that do not contain as much information. The purchase of the Wohlers Report every year is a no-brainer.”
Gilles Desharnais, Intermag-Modelex

“The Wohlers Report is the world’s best compilation of activity in the field.”
Dr. David Bourell, University of Texas at Austin

“The wealth of information is astounding, but not as astounding as the amount of research that must be performed each year to put it together.”
Al Dean, Prototype Magazine (England)

“I found it extremely useful in the preparation of a presentation to upper management. Also, the report has caught the interest of many of my colleagues in R&D.”
Patrick Roth, Elkay Manufacturing Company

“His extremely comprehensive annual report is considered the definitive analysis of the rapid prototyping world 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

“The report was priceless in developing our business plan.”
Jason Epstein, Ionic Models

“I use it as a reference for any and all rapid prototyping questions I get that I cannot answer on my own. It is the most resourceful and complete publication we had ever seen.”
Kristopher Matson, St. Louis Community College

“I was in the market for a new machine for rapid prototyping 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, founder of 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 a prototyping 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, Ex One Corp.

“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 rapid prototyping and tooling 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

“I wonder if the industry knows how fortunate it is to have this mirror? Few industries of this size and complexity have access to this level of data.”
Ed Grenda, Castle Island Company

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

“I’ve just finished reading through the report and I have to say I’m impressed with the shear quantity of information it contains. It has become the bible to those looking at rapid prototyping and related technologies.”
Al Dean, MCAD Magazine and the CADserver (England)

Learn more about ASTM and AM CoE

ASTM unites with the Wohlers brand to build on its market influence and access to top AM industry decision-makers worldwide.

  • Establish standards, certification, and qualification for repeatable, consistent parts and processes
  • Prevent gaps and duplication of work in a dynamic, fast-paced technology space
  • Identify challenges that can be solved with technological improvement

Research and Development

Under the leadership of the R&D team, the AM CoE partners plan and conduct coordinated R&D projects, prioritized annually and targeted to expedite...

Learn More

Education and Workforce Development

Provide a comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances...

Learn More