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Wohlers Report 2009

Trends... Analysis... Commentary. Commentary. Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry Year 2009 Annual Worldwide Progress Report






Photographs and Illustrations

Wohlers Report 2009, available as a PDF, provides in-depth analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) worldwide.

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250-page color PDF includes:

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

ISBN 0-9754429-5-3

Wohlers Report 2009, available as a PDF, provides in-depth analysis of additive manufacturing (AM) worldwide. AM systems build parts layer by layer and are used for a wide range of applications, including design review and validation, fit and function prototyping, pattern making, and tooling. Increasingly, AM is being used for custom and replacement part manufacturing, limited-edition products, short-run production, and in some instances, full production.

The report was developed with support from 54 co-authors, 65 service providers, 29 system manufacturers, and many others worldwide. To support the review and analysis, the softbound publication includes 31 charts and graphs, 45 tables, 154 photographs and illustrations, and eight appendices. This study, published for 14 consecutive years, has established a tradition of covering all facets of additive manufacturing, including business, product, market, technology, research, and application.

Wohlers Report 2009 covers the history of AM technology, the breadth of applications, industries embracing the technology, annual revenues from products and services, growth estimates, sales forecasts, and investor information. It also provides updates on service providers, system manufacturers, direct metal fabrication, cast metal parts, advanced approaches to tooling, and exciting new production applications.

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 AM processes, highlights trends in medical modeling, and lists applications and technologies for 3D scanning and reverse engineering. The report also addresses the challenges that organizations face when trying to understand and make use of this fast-developing technology.

The final parts of the report address emerging AM technologies, government-sponsored research and development, and college and university education and research. Wohlers Report 2009 concludes with a discussion on the future of additive manufacturing—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 manufacturing
    • 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 AM processes
    • Installations by country
  • Applications
    • Custom manufacturing
    • 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
    • Unlimited potential


  • Perspective
  • Revenue growth and forecasts
    • Products and services
    • Long-range forecast
    • Annual revenue growth percentages
    • Material sales
    • Revenue from service providers
    • Secondary market
    • Revenue from other services
  • Unit sales growth and forecasts
    • Long-range forecast
    • Unit sales growth percentages
    • Market shares
    • Systems sold by region
    • Market shares by manufacturer
    • Unit sales by manufacturer and year
    • 3D printer sales
  • Service providers
    • Growth trends
    • Popular processes
    • Changing conditions
    • The future
    • Maturation of companies
    • Consumer-oriented service providers
    • Outlook


  • Accufusion
  • Arcam
  • Concept Laser
  • Desktop Factory
  • DWS
  • Envisiontec
  • EOS
    • New EOSINT P 800
    • Ancillary design improvements
    • New materials
    • Partnerships
  • Ex One
  • Fab@Home
  • Huntsman
  • Mcor
  • MTT
    • New machines
    • Selective laser printing
  • Objet Geometries
    • New machines
    • Material developments
    • New chief executive
  • Optomec
  • Phenix Systems
  • POM
  • ReaLizer
  • Sintermask
  • Solidica
  • Solido
  • Solidscape
  • Stratasys
    • Indirect sales strategy
    • Dimension activity
    • Fortus systems
    • RedEye
  • 3D Systems
    • Equipment
    • Other developments
  • Voxeljet
  • Z Corp.
    • ZPrinter 650
    • Newest materials
    • Other developments
  • Investor update
    • Revenues and earnings
    • Outlook


  • Asia
    • Perspective on China
    • Another perspective on China
    • Major technology players
    • Chinese machines
    • Korean machines
    • India
  • Japan
    • Additive manufacturing in Japan
    • Changing stereolithography landscape
    • Other AM processes
    • Laser sintering in Japan
    • Japanese service providers
    • The future
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • United Kingdom
    • Italy
    • France
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • The Netherlands
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Belgium
    • Portugal
    • Slovenia
  • Other regions
    • South Africa
    • Groups and associations


  • Direct metal parts
    • Laser-based, powder-bed systems
    • Powder deposition systems
    • Other approaches
    • Materials testing and international standards
  • Indirect metal parts
    • Investment casting
    • Sand, V-Process, and plaster mold casting
    • LS, ProMetal, and ZCast
    • Die casting
  • Tooling solutions
  • High-performance tooling
  • Direct tooling approaches
    • DMLS
    • Laser consolidation
  • Indirect tooling approaches
    • RSP Tooling
    • Reconfigurable Tooling Systems
    • Other options
  • Other options
    • CNC-machined tooling
    • Hybrid tooling


  • Transformation is underway
  • When to use AM for production
    • Elimination of tooling
    • Quality and repeatability
    • Industry standards
  • Cost analysis and economics
    • Production implications
    • Strategic implications
  • Environmental considerations
  • Industrial design
    • Impact of AM for part production
    • Need for customer interaction
  • Applications and industries
    • Aerospace
    • Military and marine
    • Motorsports
    • Automotive
    • Machinery
    • Medical and dental
    • Consumer products
    • Furniture and home accessories
    • Art and jewelry
    • Gifts, awards, and trophies
    • Museum displays
  • Challenges and required research
    • Processes
    • Materials
    • Organization, management, and supply chain issues
    • Future growth potential


  • Growth of CAD solid modeling
    • Major trends
    • CAD/PLM revenues
    • Seat count estimates
    • Operating systems
    • What’s next?
  • Materials
    • LS powders
    • SL resins
    • PolyJet resins
    • Other materials
    • Coatings and other treatments
    • Part production
  • Medical applications
    • Anatomical models, surgical models, etc.
    • Medical imaging as input to medical models
    • Medical imaging-processing software
    • AM materials suited to medical modeling
    • Additive methods suited to medical modeling
    • Personalized metal implant production
    • Acetabular cups
    • DMLS for surgical implants
  • 3D scanning and reverse engineering
    • 3D-scanning hardware
    • Processing software
    • Applications
    • Hardware technology and limitations
    • Software technology
    • Conclusions


  • Patents
  • Technology development
    • Metallic materials
    • Biomanufacturing
  • Nanomanufacturing
    • NanoEngineer-1
    • Examples
    • Approaches to nanomanufacturing
    • Nokia’s Morph
    • World’s smallest radio
  • U.S. government-sponsored R&D
    • National Science Foundation
    • Meso, micro, and nanoscale technology
    • Applications of existing AM technology
    • Medicine
    • Education
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Defense
    • NASA
  • College and university education and research
    • Educational activities in additive manufacturing
    • Research and teaching
    • Institutions with capabilities in AM
    • Future trends and contributions


  • The impact on manufacturing
    • AM is driving change
    • Barriers to growth
  • Growth in medical applications
    • Orthopedic implants
    • Dental applications
    • Biomanufacturing
  • Other possibilities
  • New kinds of products
    • Lightweight structures
    • Electronics
    • Clothing and protective gear
  • AM is reaching the consumer
    • Game figures and collectables
    • 21st century thing maker
  • Summary
  • Want to learn more?


  • Appendix A: Glossary of terms
  • Appendix B: System and material manufacturers
    • Canada
    • China
    • England
    • France
    • Germany
    • Ireland
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • 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 54 individuals and organizations contributed to Wohlers Report 2009 and served as important sources for information.

Mukesh Agarwala 3D Product Development (India)
Nadra Angerman Angerman Communications Group
Hidefumi Aoyama Aspect (Japan)
Daniel Attanasio Daimler AG (Germany)
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
Dena Braun Alchemy Models
Tim Caffrey Seventh Son Creative Services
Ian Campbell Loughborough University (England)
Andy Christensen Medical Modeling Inc.
Rob Connelly FineLine Prototyping
Deon de Beer Vaal University of Technology (South Africa)
Mike Durham Absolute Geometries
Igor Drstvenšek University of Maribor (Slovenia)
Ismail Fidan Tennessee Tech University<
Joe Frascati Prototype Productions, Inc.<
Boris Fritz Northrop Grumman
Ping Fu Geomagic, Inc.
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)
Tsuneo Hagiwara CMET Inc. (Japan)
Richard Hague Loughborough University (England)
Ola Harrysson North Carolina State University
Berndt Holmer IVF Industrial Research and Development Corp. (Sweden)
Neil Hopkinson Loughborough University (England)
Marjorie Adele Ingle University of Texas at El Paso
Luca Iuliano Politecnico di Torino (Italy)
Olivier Jay Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
Troy Jensen Piper Jaffray
Jason Jones De Montfort University (England)
Rik Knoppers Promolding (The Netherlands)
Kai Loose Daimler AG (Germany)
Toshihiko Maeda NTT Data Engineering Systems Corp. (Japan)
Frank Medina University of Texas at El Paso
Greg Morris Morris Technologies
Tom Mueller Express Pattern
Randall Newton CADCAMNet
Charlie Norton NCP Leasing, Inc.
John Obielodan Utah State University
Phil Reeves Econolyst (England)
Pete Sayki SICAM
Joel Segal University of Nottingham (England)
Michael Siemer Mydea Technologies
Brent Stucker Utah State University
Gordon Styles Star Prototype (China)
Chris Tuck Loughborough University (England)
Jukka Tuomi Helsinki University of Technology (Finland)
Jonas Van Vaerenbergh LayerWise (Belgium)
Ryan Wicker University of Texas at El Paso
David Wimpenny De Montfort University (England)

What Others are Saying

“It has become the bible in additive manufacturing.”
Mario Fleurinck, CEO, Melotte (Belgium)

“I can’t believe how much information from around the world you absorb and then present in such easy-to-understand terms year after year.”
Bene Padovani, Brazil

“Wow, you have really created a massive resource over the years. The contributions from the industry specialists have helped produce an industry encyclopedia.”
Randall Newton, Editor-in-Chief, CADCAMnet, and Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, AECnews

“The amount of information in the report is almost overwhelming. I am awed by its depth and breadth. What’s more, the information is not available anywhere else. For example, we hear how China is changing, but few people fully understand the transformation that’s underway. The report gives insight and clarification on China and it covers the rest of the world with the same careful analysis. It also provides insight into new products and applications that you normally would not hear about, such as light-weight structures, nanomanufacturing, growing organs, gaming, and new types of protective gear. One of the secrets of your success is the extensive travel worldwide, coupled with the information you seek from experts globally. Thank you for making something so remarkable available each year.”
Boris Fritz, Northrop Grumman

“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)

“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.”
Dr. Preston Smith, Lead Co-author of Developing Products in Half the Time

“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

“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, former CEO, The Contex Group (Denmark)

“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, Axis Prototypes Inc.

“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...

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Education and Workforce Development

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

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