This paper proposes that development of formalized standards for the rapid prototyping (RP) industry will help enable the continued growth and further advancement of RP technologies. Appropriate standards can provide common methods for measuring the benefits and limitations of RP, as well as facilitate the transition of current advanced rapid manufacturing capabilities from the research laboratory to commercial products. Results and recommendations from a prior RP industry workshop at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in October of 1997 form the basis for this discussion paper. This paper was presented as part of the 2nd Internet Conference on Rapid Prototyping to gather additional information and obtain further viewpoints regarding the need for and potential content of standards for the RP industry. An addendum is provided to summarize and analyze the results of the conference discussion.