Additive Manufacturing Strategies

What Would You 3D Print If You Had the Option? Croft Additive Manufacturing Surveys 600 Britons

ST Medical Devices

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m3Last week we did a story on a recent survey of 600 adults in the United Kingdom, which centered around the topic of 3D printing. Croft Additive Manufacturing (CAM) was responsible for conducting the survey, and in the story we published last week we revealed that there was an overwhelming number of people in the UK who favored the technology for the use within the field of education.

Well, the team at Croft Additive Manufacturing, who utilizes 3D printing in the production of filters, were kind enough to reveal to us some additional, very interesting information provided to them by the 600 participants.

As you know, 3D printing is still at a very early stage when it comes to consumer use. In fact the majority of people, at least here in the United States, still do not fully grasp what the technology consists of, if they have heard of it at all. According to CAM’s survey, 66% of the UK participants were not aware that ‘additive manufacturing’ was the same thing as ‘3D printing’.

With this said, the media, as of late, has been covering innovative uses for 3D printing quite frequently, and slowly but surely it’s inching its way into the mainstream.

So, what would people 3D print if they had the option to? That’s just what CAM asked their 600 survey participants. The results are a bit humorous, but perhaps to be expected. Below are the top ten things people would 3D print if they had the chance:

  1. Money (39%) mon
  2. Furniture (15%)
  3. House (13%)
  4. Car (11%)
  5. Mini-me (8%)
  6. Food (6%)
  7. Shoes (5%)
  8. Mobile phone (4%)
  9. Guitar (4%)
  10. Engagement ring (3%)

Whether or not these same people know that all of these items, besides money and a mobile phone, have actually been 3D printed already is anyone’s guess. Next the survey went on to ask why each participant would decide to use 3D printing. The results were as follows:

  • More than a quarter would use it to save money (26%)fun
  • 1 in 4 would use it for fun (25%)
  • 22% would use it to learn more about the technology itself
  • More than 1 in 5 think it would offer more design freedom (22%)
  • Only 5% would use it to meet tight deadlines

These results go to show that a lack of total understanding remains about the uses of the technology. Even though only 5% of participants would use 3D printing to meet tight deadlines, it’s probably one of the main drivers for the rapid adoption of the technology within a business and manufacturing settings. 3D printing allows for incredibly fast prototyping, eliminating the need to outsource such processes or having to wait weeks for a turnaround.

I guess you could say that the CAM survey has shown, both a partial lack of understanding about the benefits of the technology in general, but also that the technology itself is catching some eyeballs. It would be interesting to see what the results would have been should this survey have been conducted in the United States or Asia, or better yet, in the year 2020.

Let’s hear your thoughts on CAM’s 3D printing survey results. Discuss in the 3D Printing Survey forum thread on 3DPB.com.

m1

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