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3D printing is finally being given the respect it deserves

3d printer
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Pixel B)

The pandemic presented a unique opportunity for 3D printing to assert itself as a robust manufacturing technology, according to a new survey.

Based on a poll of 1,900 respondents from across the globe, the State of 3D Printing report from Sculpteo provides insight into emerging trends in the industry.

According to the survey, 30% of businesses reported an increase in 3D printing operations in direct response to the pandemic.

“3D printing has shown its capabilities as a real manufacturing technology through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Clément Moreau, CEO and co-founder of Sculpteo. 

"Beyond this support for crippled supply chains which allowed for rapid production of critically needed parts, 3D printing continues to grow its presence in a wide variety of industries and applications."

Strength to strength

Building on the use of 3D printing during the pandemic, the report notes that 23% of the respondents invested more than $100,000 in the technology last year.

While the majority of respondents (52%) still use 3D printing for end-use mechanical parts, a healthy 27% use it for end-use consumer goods, which Scuplteo claims is a reflection of how far the technology, materials, and post-processing solutions have come.

At the same time, the firm also notes that 3D printing materials are key to unlocking the potential of the technology in manufacturing, with 72% pointing to strength as the most important property of a material.

The report also gestures towards the maturation of the 3D printing industry, with 66% of respondents having more than three years of experience with 3D printing and 26% using it daily. 

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.