Essentium, a leading innovator in industrial additive manufacturing, has released the first in a series of findings from independent global research on the current and future use of industrial 3D printing.
The study reveals a significant increase in the use of large-scale additive manufacturing (AM).
The number of manufacturers using 3D printing for full-scale production has doubled compared to last year (40 per cent in 2019; 21 per cent in 2018).
Two-thirds of companies reported they have more than doubled their use of industrial-scale AM in their manufacturing, and 47 per cent are now using the technology for runs of thousands of printed parts, a jump of 17 per cent compared to 2018.
While reduced manufacturing costs is a key driver for many manufacturers (58 per cent), the increased adoption of AM at scale is also fuelled by manufacturers’ need to improve customer response time.
61 per cent of respondents said they are adopting the technology to reduce lead times, 59 per cent believe they will benefit from mass customization, while 59 per cent are looking to increase speed-to-part production, and 51 per cent want to achieve high part performance.
As industry-scale AM enables new capabilities not possible with traditional manufacturing, two-thirds of manufacturing companies surveyed see themselves as leaders in 3D printing innovations.
Despite the optimism, some companies still face obstacles including the high cost of 3D printing materials (51 per cent); expensive 3D printing hardware (38 per cent); and current 3D printing technology does not scale (31 per cent).
Essentium is removing these barriers by creating an open ecosystem comprising the HSE printing platform which re-writes the speed and economics of industrial scale AM, an open software environment, and a broad choice of materials.
This ecosystem puts customers in the driving seat of their next generation of manufacturing systems and innovation.
Market demand for Essentium’s HSE 3D Printer and steady increase in materials consumption are clear indications that the company’s open ecosystem approach is addressing these previously unmet needs in the industrial additive market which, until now, has been dominated by closed systems where customers are locked into vendors’ hardware and processes.
Said Blake Teipel, CEO and Co-founder, Essentium: “We have bet big on our vision to smash through the limitations surrounding industrial-scale additive manufacturing so that customers can benefit from the transformative impact of this incredible technology.
“The survey clearly shows that manufacturers are onboard with our vision and additive at scale is a now reality, giving them new ways to become more competitive on a global scale.”
The survey methodology involved 162 managers and executives from manufacturing companies across the world completing the survey on their current experiences, challenges and trends with 3D printing for production manufacturing.
Participants included a mix of roles and were from companies of various sizes across industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer goods and contract manufacturing.