The State of 3D Printing 2018: available for free now! | Sculpteo Blog

The State of 3D Printing 2018: available for free now!

Posted By Jessica Van Zeijderveld on May 30, 2018 | 0 comments

Our 2018 edition of the State of 3D Printing is out now! Our State of 3D Printing ebook allows for the 3D printing industry to define itself by collecting data through our annual survey. With the findings that came from the survey, we will know what the trends are currently at play and what is expected of the future of 3D printing. This yearly report is based on the related survey which was filled out by over a 1000 respondents. These respondents range from beginners to experts in the additive manufacturing industry.


Our Respondents

If we look at the basics, we see that 11% of our respondents are women and 88% are men. Their age ranges as follows: 3% of them are younger than 17, 29% are between 18 and 29,  54% are between 30 and 54 and 14% are older than 55. Our respondents come from all over the world but, 60% of the respondents come from Europe and 25% come from the United States.

state of 3d printing 2018


Expertise and Industries

An interesting trend we found was that, while 40% of the respondents labeled themselves as beginners last year, this year only 15% thought that of themselves. Meaning that the level of expertise is increasing in the additive manufacturing industry.


If we look at in which industry our respondents are most active, we find that 17% work in Industrial Goods, 12% in Consumer Goods, 7% in the Aeronautical or Aerospace industry and 6% in Healthcare. An interesting change we found in our respondent’s role in their organization is that in last year’s report, most of our respondents identified themselves as the owner or CEO of their organization, followed by Engineers. This year, both groups have the same percentage of 29%.


Major trends

We can already give you a bit of taste of our new State of 3D Printing findings by sharing some key takeaways we found. Among other things, we found that this year, 70% of our respondents had increased their expenses while last year only 49% had spent more on additive manufacturing.


Another trend we saw was that 74% of our respondents stated that their competitors also used 3D printing while last year’s respondents said that 59% of their competitors used 3D printing. A related question to this finding was the question of if our respondents thought of 3D printing as a competitive advantage – 93% thought so indeed.

state of 3d printing 2018


If we look at what our respondents think will have the most impact in the additive manufacturing industry in the near future, cost decrease is the winner. Lower priced additive manufacturing technologies will make this manufacturing type more available to businesses.



As for what kind of finishes, technologies our respondents use, we can see that in general, our respondents are using more different technologies compared to last year. 36% of our respondents are using metal 3D printing compared to only 28% last year. As for what kind of technology they use, Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology is significantly increasing with 21% of our respondents using this metal 3D printing technology.

state of 3d printing 2018


Sectorial Insights

This year we highlighted three major industries that tend to make use of additive manufacturing more than other industries. These three industries are the industrial goods sector, the consumer goods sector and the aeronautics industry. Here are some key learnings.


Businesses in the industrial goods sector use additive manufacturing mostly for prototyping and production, but they use it more for production compared to our overall respondents’ outcome.


Businesses in the consumer goods sector find the benefits of additive manufacturing in small batch production due to their priority being more focused on offering customized products and small series.


Businesses in the aeronautics industry mainly use additive manufacturing for production, 64%, which is a lot more than other sectors. They also have a more intense use of metal 3D printing.


What more?

Now that we have given you a quick overview on some parts of our ebook, we would like to invite you to find out what else our respondents had to say for themselves in the actual State of 3D Printing. The following items can be found:


The use of 3D Printing by our 1000+ respondents

The use of 3D Printing by the power users, a group of highly successful 3D printing users

The use of 3D Printing by relevant sectors such as industrial goods, consumer goods, and aeronautics industry

The trends related to 3D printing materials, technologies, and finishes

The development of profile hiring

The overall evolution of the 3D Printing industry over the years


Download for free!

If you would like to read about all the new trends and insights of the additive manufacturing industry, you can download the State of 3D Printing 2018 here. Would you like to freshen up your memory a bit? You can read our previous State of 3D Printing 2017 here. Don’t want to miss an update about anything new in the additive manufacturing industry or regarding Sculpteo? Subscribe to our newsletter here!


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