Acting as one of the leading online 3D printing service providers, the French company Sculpteo has amassed quite the reputation across many industries for their professional-grade rapid prototyping and manufacturing capabilities. Last year, Sculpteo made use of their highly respected position in the world of additive manufacturing, and conducted a survey on over a thousand participants from a wide range of industries that are utilizing 3D printing technology. With this information, they released the “State of 3D Printing” industry report, which suggested that 3D printing was trending upwards in almost every way possible.

sculptThis year, Sculpteo has continued their research on those involved with 3D printing in their “State of 3D Printing 2016”, a similarly formulated survey that aims to compare the data from last year’s report. Sculpteo has surveyed nearly 1,000 engineers and professionals from a wide range of industries in all shapes and sizes. The results of the 2016 report will be covered by Sculpteo in a series of blog posts, the first of which has been released so far. Before breaking down the current trends in regard to 3D printing, Sculpteo has decided to introduce readers to the methodology and sample data used to create this year’s report.

The survey, which was conducted online, was fully completed by 865 participants and partially completed by more than 400, all of which responses went into their industry analysis. In order to keep the results consistent with last year’s industry report, “92% of the questions are exactly the same than last year and enable a fair comparison of the results”. New additions to the survey included more categories for materials and uses, as well as five new questions to help gain insight on how additive manufacturing is helping businesses to perform and about the most used types of 3D printing technologies. Their methodology behind the survey was also quite open-ended, leaving participants with the option to select an ‘Other’-category, which enabled them to expound upon their own use case with 3D printing. Sculpteo is well aware that 3D printing is still in the early stages of development, and wanted to get as much accurate feedback from survey participants as possible.

sculpteo-logoEssentially, the survey asks about 3D printing in light of what the participants do with it, why they do it, how they do it, and if it’s working for them. But who exactly are these individuals being sampled for the “State of 3D Printing 2016” report? For starters, two-thirds of the respondents were new to the survey, proving that Sculpteo has attracted new users since the report from last year. 55% of the participants were from Europe, while 39% came out of the US, but all in all, the sample data covers companies and individuals from 53 countries working across 19 different industries. There was a wide array of professional types who took the survey — 28% were CEOs or business owners, while 13% were freelancers, and of course there were a handful of engineers (23%) and designers (11%) as well.

stateof3dAbout 22% of the surveyed companies bring in more than $1 million of revenue per year, while 8% reached over $20 million, proving that significantly large companies are starting to implement 3D printing technology into their manufacturing process. The survey respondents seemed proportionately involved in the sectors of consumer goods, industrial goods, and high-tech, which represent 46% of the sample data. Sculpteo has also continued to focus on so-called ‘power-users’, a uniform group of respondents who rely heavily on 3D printing and constantly utilize its many possibilities. According to their data from this year’s survey, more ‘power-users’ (75%) saw an increase in business in comparison to whole sample data(48%), which reinforces the idea that heavy use of 3D printing has a positive impact on a wide range of applications.

Now that Sculpteo has given us the insight into their survey methodology and sample data, we can better understand the upcoming data on 3D printing trends and uses. This introduction to the “State of 3D Printing 2016” report might not have the most exhilarating information, but it’s important to understand who is providing this data, so that we can better understand the current uses of 3D printing technology. Sculpteo will start unveiling the current 3D printing trends found from their data in their following post, which will be published on their blog later this week. Will you be reading the report? Discuss further in the Sculpteo ‘State of 3D Printing 2016‘ forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Sculpteo]
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