Rapid prototyping technologies are now evolving toward rapid tooling. The reasons for this extension are found in the need to further reduce the time-to-market by shortening not only the development phase, but also the industrialization phase of the manufacturing process. The present state of rapid tooling is reviewed and the direct rapid tooling concept, aimed at developing direct and rapid tool manufacturing processes, is presented, along with three promising methods. Their intrinsic properties are outlined and compared. Necessary research and development are described in terms of direct rapid tooling requirements.