The survey found investments in 3D printing at an industrial-scale are paying off, with companies reporting wide-ranging benefits, including high part performance (46%), cost reduction (46%), and speed-to-part (45%).
Changes over the last year showed 3D printing's relevance in manufacturing. The AM industry proved it could step in to make quantities of supplies at scale to keep assembly lines moving; it showed 3D printing is ready for prime time.
2021 will mark the year that additive at scale transforms manufacturing across sectors, including aerospace, automotive, electronics manufacturing services, and biomedical.
However, innovation is essential to remove remaining obstacles to AM adoption and help companies manufacture in new ways. Specifically, 98% of manufacturing executives see value in improved materials, 37% are held back by the high cost of 3D printing materials, and 24% said 3D printing materials are unreliable.
Gaining approvals for capital investments will remain a challenge throughout 2021: 20% of executives report that industrial-scale 3D printing hardware is too expensive, and 18 percent indicate they have too much investment in other manufacturing technology.
Essentium remains committed to working in an open ecosystem with its customers to address these challenges, ensuring the right economics for industrial-scale 3D printing and integration with existing machinery and work practices on the factory floor. Essentium is also innovating to provide high-performance and affordable polymers for aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and tooling applications.
Said Blake Teipel, CEO and co-founder, Essentium: "Manufacturing companies have finally cracked the code of AM for full-scale production runs of hundreds of thousands of parts, and there will be no turning back. There is no longer any doubt whether AM investments deserve a central feature in the execution strategies of companies endeavouring to out-perform their peers. By working with our customers to drive innovation, financial, and efficiency benefits, we are helping them move forward into a leaner, more agile future enabled by additive manufacturing."