Survey reveals 3D printing's imminent impact on manufacturing
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, an indirect subsidiary of Stratasys, has released "3D Printing's Imminent Impact on Manufacturing", an in-depth industry report highlighting current and impending trends in 3D printing.
The report is based on an independent survey of 700 designers, engineers and executives in North America, including Canada – 40 per cent of whom are employed by companies with over US$50 million in revenue.
Moreover, respondents work for companies that are committed to using 3D printing, making this one of the only 3D printing reports uniquely focused on insights from professional users.
“We needed to look beyond our factory walls to get a more complete sense of where 3D printing is headed, so we turned to those who live and breathe the technology just like we do – professional users,” said Joe Allison, CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.
“We set out to uncover the common themes among companies who are on the spectrum of larger-scale adoption and integration of 3D printing into their manufacturing process. We’re sharing our findings to help advance adoption and help manufacturers’ maximize the business benefits.”
The report indicates what applications, business benefits and challenges, equipment, materials and services are capturing the attention of 3D printing’s most committed users -and where their companies will invest. Among the most fascinating results:
• Of those in the study that were already using additive manufacturing (AM), 40 per cent have already started to rethink product design to fully leverage the design capabilities of AM
• The majority of respondents – representing the aerospace, automotive, consumer and medical sectors – strongly believe more end-use parts will be designed specifically for AM in the future
• Additive metal use is expected to nearly double over the next 3 years
• The majority of respondents said that regardless of their company’s in-house AM capabilities, they believe there will always be value in partnering with an AM service provider to augment internal capabilities
“If your company is a committed user of 3D printing, the report will provide assurance that you are headed down a similar path of your peers and face many of the same challenges to adoption. If you’re still dipping your toe in the water, the results may serve as a wake-up call to take swifter action,” added Allison.
“Within 10 years, every commercial airplane will have 3D printed parts on it.
“That’s just one example that you can apply across a multitude of industries (such as) medical, energy (and) automotive. The magnitude of change 3D printing will bring, and has already brought, is powerful.”