|Rapid Prototyping Industry | CNC|
Rapid Prototyping on the Rise
Paced by unprecedented sales of low-end machines, the worldwide rapid prototyping industry reversed its downward trend as sales grew by $45 million in 2003.
Robust sales of low-end systems including 3-D printers have helped the rapid prototyping industry return to revenue levels of the past, according to the latest research from the Wohlers Report 2004 released at the recent SME Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing 2004 Conference and Exposition held in Dearborn, MI.
"Low-end machine sales soared to unprecedented heights, with 3-D printers becoming the crown jewel of the RP industry," says Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates (Fort Collins, CO) and principal author of the 270-page report. "With the increase in the number of machines sold and installed, the total number of models being produced annually also grew. Consequently, material sales were strong."
Rapid prototyping supplier Stratasys Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN) said that it attained market leadership at 37% of units shipped during 2003, up from 31% of industry sales in 2002, according to the report. Citing the Wohlers report, Stratasys said that the RP industry grew to $529 million in 2003, up from $484 million in 2002, while also noting that the report projects the industry will grow to $586 million in 2004 and $655 million in 2005. Stratasys also said that its sales accounted for 48% of all RP units shipped by US manufacturers in 2003, and that Stratasys now has the highest global installed base of RP systems, surpassing its competitors for the first time.
Copyright Society of Manufacturing Engineers Jul 2004
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