The State of 3D Printing 2017: The 3D Printing Market is Becoming More Mature
Posted By Hilmiyati Kusnadi on Jun 7, 2017 | 0 comments
Understanding how the 3D Printing market is evolving is one of our main goals when we work on our annual report, The State of 3D Printing. One of the many insights we find particularly interesting in the 2017 edition is the fact that 3D Printing is clearly becoming a very important business partner for companies. This technology is now a key element for many departments and less of a gadget.
The 3D Printing market is maturing, and here are 4 elements that show it.
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1. Expenses in 3D Printing are increasing
First proof that the market is maturing: expenses are increasing. Indeed, 49% of our respondents increased their spendings in 3D Printing this year. According to their answers, this trend is here to stay: 72% of them expect their spendings to rise again next year. Last year, almost the same amount of them had a similar expectation (77%).
Since the technology is showing positive results for companies using it, they decide to keep up their efforts on 3D Printing. Indeed, 47% of our respondents saw a greater return on investment of their 3D Printing activities than last year. Another interesting insight: 90% of them consider that using 3D Printing is a competitive advantage.
2. 3D Printing plays a more important role inside companies
Companies embrace more possibilities offered by 3D Printing, being for prototyping or production. Indeed, this technology is used on average by 2 departments per company, among Research and Development, Design, Production, Technical Engineering, Maintenance, and Methods Department.
3D Printing is also becoming more integrated to the activities of companies. This is especially true for the group of Top Performers among our sample, called the Power Users. 21% of them declare they are 3D Printing first companies, while 15% of our total sample say so. 11% of Power Users work in companies where 3D Printing is much separate from their activities, while 20% of our total sample say so.
3. Companies are hiring for their 3D Printing activities
We also asked our respondents about recruitment of new candidates for their 3D Printing activities. The Additive Manufacturing job market is quite dynamic, with 40% of companies planning to hire new candidates this year.
They look for highly-skilled candidates with a technical background. Indeed, 37% of them are planning to hire designers, 37% of them are planning to hire engineers, 23% of them are planning to hire operators, and only 3% of them are planning to hire project managers. Thus, expertise in 3D Printing inside companies should strongly grow over the next few years.
4. Towards a democratization of 3D Printing
One of the major trends that impact the world of 3D Printing is the democratization of this technology. How can we see it in the answers of our respondents? First of all, they quote global cost decline as the trend that will have the biggest impact on Additive Manufacturing (17%). Indeed, it makes the use of this technology easier for many companies, since it requires a lower budget than a few years ago. For instance, some innovative metal technologies allow a significant cost decline, like Binder Jetting for Stainless Steel, now available on our website.
Education to 3D Printing and awareness are also increasing (quoted by 5% of our respondents). These two points help the market grow significantly each year. With better awareness of the many possibilities offered by 3D Printing, both in terms of prototyping and manufacturing, the technology can start being used by more and more companies.
Do you want to discover more insights from our State of 3D Printing 2017 report? Download the full survey here.