I recently came across the additive manufacturing story below, and I’d like to share it with you all to see if these findings track with your experiences in the field:

Mobile phone case producer Case24.com analyzed findings from online 3D printing services provider Sculpteo, which surveyed 1,000 professionals from a range of industries to better understand how they are using additive manufacturing technology. Case24 found that professionals are most commonly using 3D printing for prototyping (55%).

In second position, 43% of survey respondents are applying the applications of 3D printing within their production process. Following that, 41% of professionals believe 3D printing allows them to prove that the concept of a potential product/part/component works to its desired and expected effect/output. 

Interestingly, 18% of professionals are using 3D printing to produce valuable marketing samples. Slightly below that, 16% are equally deploying 3D printing for artistic and educational purposes. Lastly, 10% of respondents consider 3D printing as a hobby, an area of their job that they can experiment with and test out when not focusing on the principle aspects of their role/responsibilities. 

Case24.com also sought to identify from the report what the professionals thought were the biggest benefits they have gained from implementing 3D printing technology. Case24.com discovered that complex geometries (48%) represent the greatest benefit professionals have experienced from 3D printing.

Over a third (39%) of professionals reported that 3D printing led to a reduction in the lead times of their production process, and 30% indicated that installing 3D printers has made their operations financially more prudent. 3D printing has been advantageous to the engineering redesign function for 28% of survey respondents, while 22% place 3D printing as the primary attribute that has enabled them to reduce the number of steps in their assembly line. 

“3D printing has significantly evolved over the years, establishing itself as a groundbreaking piece of technology,” said Phillip Donker, managing director of Case24.com. “Considering the technology is being harnessed in a large variety of sectors, it has become integral for firms consistently seeking to innovate and make efficiency gains in their production cycle. This research provides a comprehensive insight into the different ways professionals are using 3D printing and the biggest benefits they are gaining from doing so. These indicators showcase the current influence of the technology and how 3D printing is allowing companies/professionals to develop a powerful competitive advantage.”

Does your company use 3D printing during its production processes or provide products/services that support additive manufacturing? How is additive manufacturing being used in your realm of experience, and what benefits are you seeing?

Please share your experiences with a comment below, or feel free to contact me directly at suttons@bnpmedia.com.