ROBO 3D has just released their Northrop Grumman Survey, and all those invested in making sure engineers have the tools they need to create should sit up and take note, with 85% of engineers indicating that yes, indeed, they would do a lot more prototyping if they had a 3D printer at their disposal.
Engineers are at the top of the list when it comes to those most invested in the technology of 3D printing. Driving the creation of many new products and designs worldwide, and spanning multitudinous industries, many engineers now see the 3D printer as an indispensable tool whether it is professional grade or firing off utilitarian 3D models and 3D printed components directly from the desktop.
This recent study reinforces the benefits that will most certainly be seen from the maker/hackerspace currently being built at Northrop Grumman, which is a leading security company with headquarters around the globe, but with main corporate offices in Falls Church, Virgina and London, England.
The CEO of ROBO3D, Braydon Moreno, discussed the survey in a recent speech, pointing out that obviously greater productivity could be achieved in corporations if engineers had access to the 3D printing tools probably in use by other progressive and competitive corporate entities.
“Through speaking to Northrop Grumman employees, it became clear that there is a need in large corporations. A need to be more efficient. A need to allow the creatives within these companies access to 3D printing technology,” said Moreno. “The old ways of sending parts off to expensive industrial machines within companies is archaic. Engineers should be able to create and recreate on their desktop quickly with the accessibility of a personal 3D printer.”
Further strengthening this argument–with a world of new innovations speaking for it as well—is a contribution in an update from MakerBot, reporting great strides at Lockheed Martin. There, prototyping in just one department for one quarter increased from 12-15 industrial 3D printed prototypes to a whopping number of 250 prototypes when engineers were given personal 3D printers.
Looking at the Northrop Grumman survey itself, several extraneous items are noted immediately–mainly that this is still a surprisingly male-dominated discipline, with only 7% of respondents being female. The top reporting age group, 26-35, is not of great surprise, demonstrating the typical niche for today’s generation of individuals highly integrated into the world of technology and rolling with all the changes enthusiastically. It’s also clear regarding 3D printing technology that they are asking for more, more, more at work, with the realization that they could enormously increase their levels of innovation as well as productivity.
With 81% responding that they never prototype, there’s an obvious lack of 3D printing technology being provided to engineers, as well as analysts and systems and products trainers—with the overwhelming majority seeing great promise and value in the idea of having a personal 3D printer at work. Regarding uses for 3D printing outside of prototyping, nearly half saw the need.
Out of all the respondents, 66% worked for Northrop Grumman. Do you have a personal 3D printer at work—or at home? How do you think the addition of these tools will increase productivity for engineers as a whole? Share with us in the ROBO 3D Releases 3D Printing Study forum over at 3DPB.com.