Sculpteo Publishes Updated Report on The State of 3D Printing

In this 8th edition, there are indicators that 3D printing is moving towards greater sustainability.

In this 8th edition, there are indicators that 3D printing is moving towards greater sustainability.

Sculpteo has just published the 8th edition of The State of 3D Printing Report, its annual global survey conducted to provide additive manufacturing insight.  

Every year, Sculpteo gathers additive manufacturing industry data, which it analyzes to highlight key trends in the industry. This year's report is international in scope, with the majority of respondents based in Europe (63%) and the USA (23%). The main users of 3D printers today are senior managers, engineers and designers. The survey results reveal an increasing level of maturity across industry, with 39% of users having between 1 and 5 years of experience in additive manufacturing, while 27% use the technology daily. The industry currently making the greatest use of 3D is consumer goods (14%), followed by industrial goods (13%) and education (11%).

“This year, we decided to highlight a major issue of concern to all sectors of industry, and something we see as a major challenge ourselves: sustainability,” says Alexandre d'Orsetti, CEO, Sculpteo. “I’m delighted to say that this technology has a very bright future, and proud to be able to make my own contribution to the future of 3D printing.”

3D printing is now considered as a genuine production tool. Although it is primarily intended for R&D and prototyping, 40% of power users are using it for short series production runs, and up to 18% for mass production. The results also reveal that 47% of respondents use 3D printing to produce mechanical parts, while 28% use it to produce consumer goods.  

Of the companies surveyed, 40% are looking for more sustainable methods and materials to use in manufacturing their products. A significant 41% say that 3D printing is helping them to achieve their sustainability goals. Another pretty impactful figure also emerges: 61% of manufacturers believe that the great benefit of 3D printing lies in the ability to produce on demand.

The majority of manufacturers believe that 3D printing helps them implement their sustainability policies by removing the need to carry inventory on site.

Additive manufacturing has capacity to fulfill product customization needs. In fact, 84% of respondents are optimistic about the future of additive manufacturing. When questioned about the potential of 3D printing, 58% of respondents showed notable optimism that it will play a significant role in manufacturing, business and personal lives, while 26% of respondents felt that 3D printing will impact only manufacturing and business. 

Respondents see materials reliability and sustainability as priority goals, with 61% of respondents saying that on-demand manufacturing is the most reliable and sustainable benefit delivered by 3D printing. Another 47% of users say that 3D printing reduces the need to use multiple resources. According to the report results, 59% of users want to be able to use more sustainable materials. According to users, the three aspects of 3D printing reliability and sustainability that most need to be improved are: availability of more options for recycling printed objects, development of more sustainable materials, and greater progress in reuse of powder-using technologies.

Read the full survey here.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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