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On the state of 3D printing usage | 3D ACTIVATION

On the state of 3D printing usage

According to a study, German companies are well ahead of companies from China and the USA when it comes to using 3D printing

Even if it doesn’t seem to have caught on in the public consciousness yet, 3D printing is already much more widespread among German companies than among the competition from the Far East and the USA. At least that is the result of a survey (by the Stuttgart-based management consultancy Ernst & Young GmbH), which the company published in July 2016 (see press release).

So use it 37% of German companies are already using 3D printing technologies or products, and 12% are also planning to use them. This contrasts with just 24% of companies using 3D printing in China and South Korea (which also corresponds to the international average), and a meager 16% in the USA. It is hardly better than there in Great Britain with 17%.

Andreas Müller, Partner at Ernst & Young, therefore concludes: “3D printing is made for the innovative German economy.” Because: “The technology allows companies to produce small quantities, inexpensive prototypes and the use of new materials. The high proportion of German companies that are already using 3D printing shows that the local economy is open to new technologies.”

Plastics industry as a motor in terms of 3D printing use

It is also interesting to take a look at the individual sectors. According to this, the plastics industry is the leader in the use of additive manufacturing with a usage share of 38%, followed by at least 29% in mechanical and plant engineering.

Share of 3D printing use in sales

Surprisingly, the share of 3D printing use in the generated sales in the countries examined is almost inversely proportional to the overall share of companies using 3D printing. The 3D printing share of total sales in Germany is just 1.8%, compared to more than 5% in the USA. On average for the countries examined, this value is 3%.

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This finding suggests that in countries with lower 3D printing usage shares (such as the USA), it is primarily those companies that use additive manufacturing technologies that more or less use it right away generate their sales, primarily 3D printing service providers.

According to this study, a total of 10 billion euros in sales are already being achieved with 3D printing worldwide, 1 billion of them in Germany.

For the study, Ernst & Young (EY) surveyed 900 companies in selected countries (USA, GB, Western Europe, China, South Korea), 200 of them in Germany.

Do the 37% mentioned include German companies that already use 3D printing? Or the 12% who plan to get started in the near future? Even if you are based in Switzerland or Austria or are still unsure, visit our website and find out about our comprehensive range.

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