A Report Reveals 74% of Companies Plan to Invest in 3D Printing in 2021


CATEGORY: 3D Services BRAND: Makerbot

Findings from inaugural report signal mounting confidence in 3D printing’s ability to transform business operations

Tom Claes / Unsplash


MakerBot, subsidiary of Stratasys, has released results from its new 3D Printing Trends Report, which includes over 1,200 responses from professionals across multiple industries, including Aerospace, Industrial Goods, Military & Defense. Medical, and Automotive. Key findings in the report reveal that nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents are planning to invest in 3D printing technology in 2021, with 50% planning to spend up to $100,000.


Other key findings of the 3D Printing Trends Report include:

Customization is the number one reason respondents use 3D printing. Respondents wanted the ability to create custom, low-to-mid-volume production parts (68%) and print complex geometries (57%).

However, 3D printing continues to play a much bigger role in the research and design phases. Concept modeling (70%), functional prototypes (66%), and research and development (44%) were the main applications for respondents.

Print quality and printer performance are top factors when choosing a 3D printer. A printer is only as good as its 3D-printed parts. Respondents stated that dimensional accuracy (61%) and reliability (65%) are the top factors influencing their printer selections.


FDM® 3D printers are king. While there are a variety of 3D printing technologies, FDM remains the most frequently used. The majority of respondents (77%) use FDM/FFF 3D printers in their repertoire, while 27% use SLA technology. Unsurprisingly, plastics (93%) and resins (25%) were the main materials used.


Costs and technical expertise are major barriers to implementing 3D printing. 53% of respondents say that lack of budget is preventing them from fully utilizing 3D printing, while 29% cite lack of technical expertise.


Respondents expect the technology, materials, and applications to develop over the next 3-5 years. 61% of respondents expect more materials to emerge, while 58% expect the cost of using the technology to decrease.


Source: Makerbot


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