While the National Labs are known for their supercomputers, some are also tasked with helping US industry advance digital manufacturing. The 3D printed car and Jeep projects were done to demonstrate Oak Ridge’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing technology, which the lab says could bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “rapid prototyping.”
While reading about these hero projects recently, I found myself asking, Besides the Labs and a few hobbyists, who is using 3D printing today? There didn’t seem to be any good data available.
Now a new report by a 3D printing service called Sculpteo offers some insight into who is using 3D printing. They surveyed 1,000 respondents from 19 different industry online from late January to late March 2016.
The majority of respondents identified themselves as holding the following job titles: owner/CEO (28%), engineer (23%), freelancer (13%) and designer (11%).
Seven Characteristics of the 3D Printing Power User
- Consider Themselves Professionals: Fully 95% of Power Users declare themselves as professionals, and among those, 88% consider themselves to be experts to intermediate in 3D printing.
- Seek Competitive Advantage: 97% of Power Users view 3D printing as delivering competitive advantage to their organizations.
- Accelerate Product Development: Power Users are more than twice as likely (59%) to rank accelerating product development as their top priority over non-power users (26%).
- Secure Greater ROI: 61% of Power Users have generated ROI from their 3D printing programs versus only 40% for non-power users.
- Integrate 3D Printing Technologies More Broadly: Power Users are trained to handle different technologies and are integrating 3D printing as a solution across internal departments; among Power Users 64% say they have integrated 3D printing at least two of their programs versus 23% for non-power users.
- Have Deep Technical Expertise: 93% of Power Users are the creators of their 3D files versus 84% of non-power users; and Power Users deploy a broader range of materials in additive manufacturing than non-power users.
- Power Users Are Hiring: 44% of Power Users say they will be hiring in 2016 as comparted to only 32% for non-power users. And Power Users plan to hire more candidates for their 3D printing activities than non-power users.