sculpteo logoAnyone involved in the 3D printing industry knows that a favorite topic for discussion is the future of the industry. Why? Because the technology itself seems so futuristic, and speculation about where the industry is headed is filled with excitement about new applications of the technology in many sectors. In 2015, Sculpteo surveyed 1,118 3D printing business professionals about their 3D printing experiences, providing the first “quantitative study of 3D printing professionals and experts.” Take a look at the below graphic representing 16 different vertical markets (or sectors), and if you don’t see yourself represented make sure you participate in Sculpteo’s 2016 survey.

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Let’s take a look at some of the data from this first of its kind survey. Of the 16 vertical markets surveyed, the majority ranked “Material and Supply Cost” and “Machine Consistency and Capabilities” as the most important determining factors as to whether a business adopted 3D printing or not. Regarding other determining factors for adopting 3D printing, almost half of all respondents state that the other four categories determining adoption of 3D printing are least important: “Reverse Engineering”; “Understanding Customer Needs”; “Clear Legal Framework”; and “Training Teams.” Sculpteo reports that it expects to see an increase in these percentages, meaning that even more people in the 2016 survey will report that these categories are not very relevant regarding why a business does or does not adopt 3D printing technology.

surv2From 2014 to 2015, additive manufacturing spending increased by 68% and this is largely due to the fact that businesses are trying to “accelerate the product development process.”  For the 2016 report it is predicted that one or two additional markets will be added to the list, but the increase in 3D printing adoption will “…come from verticals currently using the technology rather than a flood of new verticals integrating the technology.” Put another way: more businesses represented by verticals already using 3D printing will adopt it as well.

Sculpteo reports that the company also expects to see an increase in “Material and Supply Cost,” explaining this is “partially due to the new verticals that we predict will show up on this survey, but also due to the drop in cost for 3D printers, 3D printing services and materials.” Lower industry prices will increase the number of survey respondents stating that cost is an important determining factor in adoption of the technology.

It will be interesting to see the overall results of this year’s survey. The 2016 State of 3D Printing Survey states that it has several purposes:

“This survey gives businesses all the data they need to compare their 3D printing strategy with other actors of the same industrial sector from one year to another. Once again, the 2016 edition will provide a broad benchmark of the current uses of 3D printing in the industry and forecasts about their evolution. But beyond all of that it gives us the opportunity to get to know you better and therefore shape our services to match your highest expectations.”

Over 900 3D printing professionals have already responded to the 2016 survey, and after participating you will be able to immediately access the overall survey results so you can benchmark your own responses in relation to others in the industry. Also, by participating in the survey you will get a 10% discount on your next order, so what’s to stop you from taking the survey right here, right now? The more people who participate, the stronger the available data will be to help your build your 3D printing business plan. Are you planning to participate? Discuss in the Sculpteo 2016 3D Printing Survey forum over at 3DPB.com.

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