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MARKET INTELLIGENCE: END-USERS LAUD RAPID PROTOTYPING; URGENTLY AWAIT NEXT-GENERATION SYSTEMS

 MARKET INTELLIGENCE: END-USERS LAUD RAPID PROTOTYPING;
 URGENTLY AWAIT NEXT-GENERATION SYSTEMS
 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- End-users are catching up with and trying to go beyond existing desktop manufacturing technology, increasingly demanding systems that can create usable metal parts rather than plastic models, says a new end-user survey and analysis just released by Market Intelligence.
 Despite what are seen as the shortcomings of existing machines, end-users are excited about desktop manufacturing (also known as rapid prototyping) because it dramatically cuts product development time and thus time to market, according to the report, "Survey of Rapid Prototyping End-Users -- First Generation a Smashing Success: End-Users Waiting for Next-Generation Systems."
 Survey respondents represented approximately a third of the world's current installed base of rapid prototyping systems. World desktop manufacturing system market revenues totaled some $32 million in 1991, with an installed base of over 300 systems.
 Vendors will respond increasingly to end-user demands on systems and materials to develop more effective RP systems, gaining the industry wider acceptance. Widespread end-user enthusiasm for desktop manufacturing reinforces market projections of very rapid growth. However, most end-users at the same time express the need for greater accuracy and material flexibility than is afforded by current system models.
 Stereolithography, the first and most estalbished rapid prototyping technology, remains also by far the most widely used one, with alternative technologies -- including selective laser sintering, laminated object manufacturing, fused deposition modeling and ballistic particle manufacturing -- still in their relative infancy, 3D Systems, the main stereolithography supplier, continues to dominate the market.
 Although 3D's dominance will continue into the near future, many end-users are seriously evaluating new RP technologies from other suppliers such as DTM, Helisys, Stratasys, Cubital, BPM, Somos and EOS. End-user comments suggest new systems will be snapped up as fast as they become commercially available, both as a means to fill gaps in 3D System operation and to open the way for entirely new RP applications like investment casting and actual (as opposed to model) part production.
 This comprehensive end-user survey covering desktop manufacturing worldwide identifies major RP system users, current applications, user perceptions of system limitations and what vendors should do to overcome these constraints. Some 86 percent of respondents are U.S.-based, reflecting the United States' leadership in RP technology, while 12 percent of surveyed companies are in Europe and 2 percent in Japan.
 Service bureaus provided the largest single share of respondents, with the automotive industry in turn the bureaus' largest single customer group. Outside of service bureaus, aerospace and defense represented the largest end-user industry surveyed. Educational and automotive users closely follow, each with almost the same number of installations as aerospace/defense. Other major user groups surveyed include medical suppliers, the electronics industry (primarily computer manufacturers), government agencies and consumer product manufacturers.
 Market Intelligence is an international high-technology research firm specializing in industrial electronics and automation. All Market Intelligence reports are based on extensive interviews with marketing and technical experts from selected companies in each market segment. Primary research is validated by thorough analysis of available secondary research. Since 1982, Market Intelligence has emerged as one of the leading publishers of high-technology market research reports.
 MARKET INTELLIGENCE
 Estimates of the Total Rapid Prototyping Systems
 Market by Geographic Region (World),
 1992
 Estimated Number Estimated Value Estimated
 of Installed of Installed Number of
 Geographic Rapid Prototyping Rapid Prototyping End-User
 Region Systems Systems ($ Million) Companies
 U.S. 230 50.6 120
 Europe 40 10.4 30
 Asia 70 17.5 60
 Total 340 78.5 210
 Note: All figures are rounded. Source: Market Intelligence
 -0- 10/22/92
 /CONTACT: Amy Arnell of Market Intelligence, 415-961-9000 or 415-961-5042 (fax)/ CO: Market Intelligence ST: California IN: CPR SU:


SG-GT -- SJ002 -- 3474 10/22/92 11:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 22, 1992
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