MRO Magazine

Sculpteo Releases Second Annual Report on The State of 3D Printing

June 8, 2016
By Business Wire News


Sculpteo, the leading force in online 3D printing, today announced the publication of The State of 3D Printing 2016. The principal objective of the report is to share data Sculpteo collected from 1,000 participants in one global study on how businesses and individuals are using this cutting edge technology. To download a copy of The State of 3D Printing:

“We are very pleased to present this second edition of our report on The State of 3D Printing. I would like to personally thank the 1,000 participants who responded and shared their experience, ideas, challenges and expectations,” said Clement Moreau, CEO of Sculpteo. “There is now no question that additive manufacturing is the defining technology for organizations that seek rapid innovation, flexible production, and seamless response to customer preferences. Additionally, the data strongly suggest that the individuals who manage this critical technology within their organizations, what we call 3D Printing Power Users, are becoming more capable professional practitioners.”

Key Findings from the State of 3D Printing 2016:

  • Spending on 3D Printing Continues to Rise: Average budgets for 3D printing technology and services have increased on average to $6,132 in 2016 from $3,736 in 2015; respondents spending more than $10,000 annually doubled to 10% in 2016 from 5% in 2015; and 77% of respondents said they plan to increase their spending in 2017.
  • Shift to Production Drives Growth: Accelerating product development is the main concern for 3D printing professionals with Prototyping (50%) and Proof of Concept (30%) as the main use cases, however production related concerns including, Offering Customized Products and Limited Series and Increasing Production Flexibility rank as top priorities for 3D printing professionals.
  • Plastic Dominates Materials Usage: The use of low cost plastics to build prototypes explains the material’s dominance (73%), followed by Resins (26%), Metals (23%), Multicolor Sandstone (13%), and Ceramics (8%).
  • Technology Diversity Indicates Evolution Toward Additive Manufacturing: The diversity of new machines allows professionals to employ a wider range of materials and undertake new additive manufacturing projects; respondents also foresee more multi-material productions. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) remains the dominant 3D Printing technology (38%) followed by Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) (31%), Stereolithography (SLA) (14%) and Multijet/Polyjet (7%).
  • 3D Printing Adoption Driven by Machine Consistency and Supply Costs: Key considerations driving adoption of 3D printing among professionals includes machine capabilities and consistency (72%), and supply costs and material investment (56%).
  • Three Big Ideas Drive 3D Printing: Innovation (23%), Efficiency (19%), and Democratization (19%).
    • Innovation: Respondents see new materials and new techniques growing in importance. The ability to print metal is considered one of the top innovations (8%), color printing (2.5%), and other new materials such as sol-gel, ceramic or even glass.
    • Efficiency: Respondents separated efficiency into two distinct dimensions. First, speed of the machinery such as CLIP technology and other fast resin printers. Second, better quality is definitely a feature of additive manufacturing, including resistance of materials, smooth surfaces, completion and resistance of parts, precision of details are among the efficiency improvements sought by users.
    • Democratization: Long a core idea within 3D Printing, respondents describe the technology as user-friendly. Respondents want to see democratization continue toward software that makes 3D creation easy for the average user.

The Rise of the 3D Printing Power User

Among the key findings in the State of 3D Printing 2016 report is the dramatic increase in the professionalization of 3D Printing within respondent organizations. The professionals who responded to the survey are leading the shift toward additive manufacturing within their organizations, and among this group a profile of the 3D Printing Power User emerges from the data. The key characteristic of 3D Printing Power Users, include:

  • Consider Themselves Professionals: Fully 95% of Power Users declare themselves as professionals, and among those, 88% consider themselves to be experts to intermediate in 3D printing.
  • Seek Competitive Advantage: 97% of Power Users view 3D printing as delivering competitive advantage to their organizations.
  • Accelerate Product Development: Power Users are more than twice as likely (59%) to rank accelerating product development as their top priority over non-power users (26%).
  • Secure Greater ROI: 61% of Power Users have generated ROI from their 3D printing programs versus only 40% for non-power users.
  • Integrate 3D Printing Technologies More Broadly: Power Users are trained to handle different technologies and are integrating 3D printing as a solution across internal departments; among Power Users 64% say they have integrated 3D printing at least two of their programs versus 23% for non-power users.
  • Have Deep Technical Expertise: 93% of Power Users are the creators of their 3D files versus 84% of non-power users; and Power Users deploy a broader range of materials in additive manufacturing than non-power users.
  • Power Users Are Hiring: 44% of Power Users say they will be hiring in 2016 as comparted to only 32% for non-power users. And Power Users plan to hire more candidates for their 3D printing activities than non-power users.

Methodology and Demographics

The State of 3D Printing surveyed 1,000 respondents online and was opened to the general public at from late January to late March 2016. Respondents are from 53 different countries across Europe (55%), United States (39%), Asia (5.1%), and Africa (1%). Survey respondents work in 19 different industries, across consumer goods, industrial products, high-tech, services, entertainment and electronics. The majority of respondents identified themselves as holding the following job titles: owner/CEO (28%), engineer (23%), freelancer (13%) and designer (11%).

About Sculpteo

Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service based in San Francisco and Paris. The company offers on-demand 3D printing of individual products as well as short-run manufacturing through a user-friendly web interface. Sculpteo offers 45 materials, colors and finishes available, plus superior file analysis and repair. With factories in Europe and the United States, Sculpteo offers fast turnaround and worldwide delivery of advanced prototypes and short-run finished parts. Sculpteo was founded in 2009 by Eric Carreel and Clément Moreau.

for Sculpteo
Michael Young, 415-359-6420