FORT COLLINS, COLORADO, USA, September 5, 2003 -- Industry consultant, analyst, and author Terry Wohlers, founder and president of Wohlers Associates, Inc., will serve as the keynote speaker at the First International Conference on Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping (VRAP 2003). The event is slated for October 1-4, 2003, in Leiria, Portugal. Topics include 3D data acquisition, virtual engineering and simulation, new rapid prototyping (RP) technologies, advanced materials, and high-speed machining. The conference will also cover micro and nanotechnology, collaborative decision-making using Internet tools, and methods of manufacturing small batches of parts.
Wohlers' keynote, titled Past, Present, and Future of Rapid Prototyping, will discuss how the RP industry has developed and advanced over the past decade. He will highlight worldwide revenues and machine sales, rates at which countries are adopting the technology, and important trends and forecasts. Also, Wohlers will reveal new product offerings, organizations entering the business, and important R&D projects. He will conclude by giving the audience his view of the future, including the impact and direction of inexpensive machines for concept modeling, as well as the application of RP technology for the manufacture of series production parts and custom manufacturing.
In addition to the keynote, Wohlers will lead a workshop titled Rapid Prototyping and Tooling in the Mould-Making Industry. It will cover the most important developments and trends in rapid and high-performance tooling. The presentation will provide news and updates on companies such as Arcam, EOS, Ford Sprayform, Optomec, POM, Praxair, ProMetal, RSP Tooling, 3D Systems, and other products, processes, and companies. Wohlers will also discuss tool design software including Magics Tooling from Materialise and a development that is underway at TNO Industrial Technology. The goal of the workshop is to help attendees sort through the maze of options and understand which are most promising for specific tooling applications.
The conference is being organized by the School of Technology and Management, Institute Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal, together with the University of Reading, UK. The Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA) has endorsed the event. Information on the conference is available at
In June, Wohlers served as the keynote speaker at the 24th Japan Rapid Prototyping Symposium in Tokyo, Japan. He is a frequent speaker and the author of 275 books, articles, reports, and technical papers on engineering and manufacturing automation. One of his recent publications, Wohlers Report 2003, is a 270-page worldwide progress report on the rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing state of the industry. Additional information is available at