5 Reasons to Join the Rapid Prototyping Industry
1. It is growing. In 2006, rapid prototyping equipment was a US$300 million market. By 2013, it should reach $859.4 million, according to research & consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
2. It is still young. Kicked off in the 1980s, there are a lot of goals to be scored. You could be RP's Dean Kamen. No, he's not a football player.
3. Unlike cranberries and American football, rapid prototyping is an international phenomenon. Japan, Germany, China, Sweden, England, and the U.S., among others, have all shown leadership in the rapid prototyping industry.
4. The long tail. See best-selling book of the same name by Chris Anderson. CliffsNotes version: Increasingly, there are fewer blockbuster products and more low volume products. Gone is the 400,000-unit-a-year Ford Taurus. Here to stay is a number of nameplates that sell in much smaller numbers. Low volume is where RP shines.
5. Unlike other manufacturing, rapid prototyping production is unlikely to be sent overseas to exploit cheaper labor. With RP, the labor component is relatively tiny, eliminating this advantage, and making long-distance shipping costs stand out.