Rapid Prototyping: State of the Industry 1993

Published as part of SME’s Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing ’93 Conference Proceedings

Rapid prototyping (RP) systems offer a wealth of new possibilities in engineering and manufacturing. Users of RP have saved impressive amounts of money and time, while enhancing the product design and manufacturing process. Organizations use these systems for conceptual modeling, design verification, and fit and function testing. In addition, they show RP parts to customers and potential customers, and send RP parts with requests for bids to their subcontractors. RP users also produce patterns for silicone rubber and epoxy tooling and sand, plaster and investment castings.

The first commercial sales of RP systems occurred in 1988 by 3D Systems. From 1989 through 1992, worldwide annual revenues from RP system sales have grown an average of about 30 percent per year. The compound annual growth rate of the RP market is expected to be about 35-40 percent over the next two years. This growth will come as a result of RP system refinements, increased use of 3D CAD systems, improving economic conditions, and educational programs. Also, RP systems that were previously in a test phase of development are now available for sale. Wohlers Associates estimates that worldwide revenues from RP system sales exceeded $38 million in 1992, and $52 million in 1993.

RP system unit sales topped the 500 mark in April 1993. As many as 12 RP system manufacturers have sold and shipped systems to customers. Five are U.S. manufacturers, four are Japanese, and one each from Germany, Sweden and Israel. Fifteen manufacturers have RP systems for sell, while more than 38 universities, government laboratories and corporations around the globe have researched or developed various forms RP technology. An estimated 23 of them, including the 12 mentioned above, have produced sample parts from their systems.

Copyright 1993 by Wohlers Associates

Access

Wohlers Report 2022

Technical, market, and strategic advice on Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing Rapid Product Development

Related Press & News

June 16, 2018

The Impact of DfAM

By Olaf Diegel Over the past three decades, the bulk of research in additive manufacturing has largely focused on AM…

Read More
May 1, 2007

Wohlers Report 2007 Finds Extraordinary Growth in Additive Fabrication

DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA, May 1, 2007—Wohlers Associates, Inc. today released its most recent findings in Wohlers Report 2007, an in-depth…

Read More
March 22, 2022

Wohlers Report 2022

Creating Wohlers Report 2022 would have been impossible without our team of 93 experts and 250 contributing organizations from around the world. The…

Read More

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