The worldwide mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) and product life-cycle management (PLM) market grew to nearly $4 billion in 2004, according to research undertaken by Wohlers Associates Inc. in conjunction with Cyon Research. Wohlers and Cyon found that the top four firms in the field—Autodesk, Dassault, UGS, and PTC—had $3.871 billion in sales in 2004 as against $3.38 billion the preceding year, for an increase of 14.5%.
According to Wohlers Report 2005, net income for those four companies collectively grew by 79.7% during the period, from $271 million in 2003 to $487 million in 2004.
In terms of commercial seats, the leading MCAD product in 2004 was, according to the study, Autodesk Inventor. Following in order were CATIA, UGS NX, SolidWorks, Pro/Engineer, and Solid Edge. MCAD products not counted by the investigators included Alibre, KeyCreator, OneSpace Designer, IronCAD, thinkdesign, VX CAD/CAM, and Cobalt.
Cyon Research, which provides design, engineering, construction, and manufacturing firms with a strategic outlook regarding the software tools and processes on which those companies rely, worked closely with Wohlers, an independent business consulting firm, to determine CADsolid-modelling growth trends. This information has enabled Wohlers to forecast the expansion and acceptance of additive fabrication technology for applications such as rapid prototyping, which is the primary focus of Wohlers Report 2005. Wohlers’ worldwide study is a 256-page softcover publication that presents the state of the rapid prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing industry.