Over half of manufacturing firms have used 3D printing for more than five years, survey finds

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5th January 2022 15:21 - Industrial

Over half of manufacturing firms have used 3D printing for more than five years: A recent survey by PostProcess have uncovered that 51% of manufacturing firms say they have used 3D printing for at least the last five years, up from 45% in 2020.
 
The study has been running since 2019, and polled the users of post-processing systems in an attempt to outline the future for the post-printing and 3D printing industry. The survey found that the number of firms that said they would use 3D printing for prototyping over the next five years had decreased from 57% in 2019, to 44% in 2021.
 
When asked about what would make them invest more into 3D printing, over three-quarters (76%) said ‘improving end part quality’, with a further 38% saying ‘reducing the company’s dependency on labour’. 
 
In addition, many manufacturing firms stated the importance of health and safety, with 36% saying they would invest more into the 3D printing industry if it made work safer for their employees. However, 8% said they currently have no plans to invest into the 3D printing industry.
 
The survey also looked at the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the 3D printing industry, with just under a third (32%) saying they want to use 3D printing more as a result; with the majority of them being based in Europe.
 
The research highlights that the number of manufacturing firms using more than one production method has dropped to just half, down from seven in 10 in 2020. 
 
Furthermore, when asked about what they use the production technologies for, 52% said they used 3D printing for prototyping in 2021; a decrease from 65% in 2019.


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