Professionals are most commonly using 3D printing technology for prototyping prospective products/parts/components, according to data from online 3D printing services provider Sculpteo, analysed by mobile phone specialists Case24.com.

Some 55% use the technology to make prototypes, while 43% of the 1000 users surveyed are using 3D printing within their production processes. Being able to produce complex geometries is reportedly the biggest benefit experts have experienced from utilising 3D printing at 48%, while 39% reported that 3D printing led to a reduction in the lead times of their production process. However, only 8% felt that 3D printing has had a positive impact on their remote production capabilities.

In the report, 41% of experts said that 3D printing allows them to prove that the concept of a potential product/component works to its desired and expected effect/output.

According to Case24.com, 18% of professionals are using 3D printing to produce marketing samples, while 16% are deploying 3D printing for artistic as well as educational purposes. Only 10% consider 3D printing as a hobby.

Finally, 28% of experts said that 3D printing has been advantageous to their engineering redesign function, and 22% place 3D printing as the primary attribute which has enabled them to reduce the number of steps in their assembly line.

This story uses material from Case24.com, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.