The survey found that 57% of manufacturers increased 3D printing for production parts.
The survey found that 57% of manufacturers increased 3D printing for production parts.

3D printing company Essentium Inc says that new independent global research suggests that the use of large-scale AM has more than doubled in the past year for 70% of manufacturing companies.

The number of companies that have shifted to using AM for full-scale production runs of hundreds of thousands of parts has doubled from 7% in 2019 to 14% in 2020, the company said.

The survey, which reported on answers from 169 manufacturing company managers, also found that 57% of manufacturers increased 3D printing for production parts to keep their supply chains flowing during the Covid-19 crisis. While some 24% of respondents have ‘gone all-in’ with regards to 3D printing investment, 25% of manufacturers are ramping up to meet supply chain needs and 30% of respondents are evaluating industrial-scale 3D printing to fill supply chain gaps, Essentium said.

As well as this, some 84% of respondents considered that companies investing in AM would have a clear competitive advantage in the next five years, while 87% believed 3D printing will increasingly drive local manufacturing. However, to achieve these benefits, they said that materials innovations would be critical to overcome obstacles, including the high cost of 3D printing materials (37%) and unreliable materials (24%). 

‘The results of this survey show we’re at the beginning of radical change,’ said Blake Teipel, CEO and co-founder of Essentium. ‘Additive is ready for prime time, and manufacturers are already moving into actual manufacturing to save manufacturing costs while building stronger supply chains that can withstand the worst type of unforeseen events – such as the pandemic.’

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