There’s a whole lot of growth and excitement in the 3D printing industry these days. Through all the chaos (which hasn’t all been positive) it’s become increasingly difficult to track developments, parse the reality from the illusions, and really track specific growth indicators to be able to find guidance to critical business decisions that will fuel tomorrow’s industry growth.

But thankfully, as of February 2016, high quality market insights and critical market data for the 3D printing industry have become more accessible than ever thanks to SmarTech Markets’ new industry advisory services.

If you’ve heard the name before, that’s probably because SmarTech is the only true industry analysis group and consultancy that focuses one hundred percent of its efforts on 3D printing market research. Since 2012, the group has published 25 individual in-depth studies on various opportunity areas in 3D printing, making it the broadest and most published provider of industry research for 3D printing in the world.

smartechBut an evolving industry calls for evolving approaches to keeping its leaders up to date with the latest data which is becoming critical for understanding growth patterns and success. Thus, SmarTech now is expanding the availability of its monthly advisory services to the industry at large through its new Polymer 3D Printing Market Advisory Service and Metal Additive Manufacturing Market Advisory Service.

A Time Unlike Any Other for 3D Printing Calls for Better Solutions

In 2010, if you were to ask participants of the rapid prototyping and then metal additive manufacturing industry where they believed the industry would be in 2016, I highly doubt many would have been able to truly articulate the finer points of the chaos and explosive growth we have witnessed as an industry over the past six years.

Sure, back then the push towards more advanced uses for additive fabrication was well underway, but think about what we’ve seen just in the past couple of years. There are now hip, spinal, cranial, knee, shoulder, finger, and rib cage implants manufactured using metal additive manufacturing inside of human beings around the globe. We are on the cusp of the first home-grown billion dollar 3D printer manufacturer. There are commercial and military airplanes flying with 3D printed parts in them (both metal and polymer). Three of the world’s largest technology OEMs and household names are developing products for commercial sale within the next two years. There is at least one 3D printer in space.

smartech chartThis is a time unlike any other for 3D printing. But it’s really only just getting started. SmarTech has seen clear evolutionary steps in the needs of its clients in the 3D printing industry, which in itself indicate the maturation process of the industry at large. No longer are high-level, industry wide skim reports meeting the needs of printer manufacturers, material developers, software companies, or end users. Greater focus, detail, depth, and regularity are required to truly guide industry professionals in their efforts for better solutions.

Why Advisory Services Matter

SmarTech’s new advisory services split the market into two categories in order to speak directly to the varying challenges associated with 3D printing technology today.

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Market Advisory Service is the direct response to three straight years of massive growth in purchase of metal AM systems, featuring monthly reports to subscribers featuring market data on hardware and metal powders forecasts, as well as market analysis in application development and manufacturing activity.

Meanwhile, the Polymer 3D Printing Market Advisory Service puts focus on the dynamic and complex interrelationship between technologies like Fused Deposition Modeling, Selective Laser Sintering, Stereolithography, and more. Not only is there a high degree of competitiveness in this segment, but the disruptive forces of low cost and desktop polymer printers are setting the stage for serious transformation.

polymerSmarTech’s brand of advisory services are an important step in the industry because they provide two unique benefits:

First, subscribers get monthly market data from SmarTech’s proprietary market models which were developed with the specific purpose of providing depth and accuracy. With monthly reports, subscribers are not beholden to market data that is already limited in scope, and which is outdated for 80 percent of the calendar year in an industry where change comes rapidly.

Second, it increases access to market data and analysis from a source that is dedicated 100 percent to the 3D printing industry. SmarTech’s deep understanding of 3D printing technologies, materials, applications, and users enable it to extract insights and create market forecasts which have simply been unavailable at any point previous in the industry’s 30+ year history. By providing an individual service to the two primary categories of 3D printing technology, industry professionals can get insights and data tailored more specifically to their own activities.

Bringing Growth and Insight Together in 2016

The new advisory services from SmarTech show a degree of industry maturation in their own right. Demand for more detailed and qualified market research in 3D printing is the direct result of increasing  importance of long term strategies from the industry’s most prominent players and 3D printing technology’s most influential users.

There’s no doubt that 2016 will be an interesting year for the industry at large. The historic leaders will be looking to regain ground after a tough 2015, while the broader manufacturing communities of the world invest further in use and development of additive fabrication and rapid prototyping or tooling. Utilizing quality analytical sources can help bring together growth and insight for success in a critical time.

For those interested in SmarTech’s new polymer and metal 3D printing advisory services, visit the SmarTech website for a free sample.

Scott Dunham is Vice President of Research at SmarTech Markets Publishing. Scott has years of research experience in the areas of advanced manufacturing and has been a featured speaker at 3D printing industry events around the world.

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