3D printing like any other new technology has made manufacturers have sleepless nights. 3D printing technology has come, and it is a reality that has to be implemented by all concerned parties. Several end products like aerospace products, automotive, medical, and even dental products are rapidly adopting 3D printing technology.
Some companies are piloting the use of 3D printing technologies before fully implementing it. It is evident that 3D printing technology has brought change in the USA manufacturing industry. A survey which was concluded recently revealed different stands that companies and manufacturers are having towards this new technology.
What is the State on the Ground?
The number of manufacturers using 3D printing in US is not yet at the peak. Only two-thirds of the US manufacturers surveyed said that they were using 3D printing technologies. Those using 3D printing considered themselves to be doing better than their counterparts who are yet to start using it. About 56 percent of the group using 3D printing feels that half of those who are not using the new technology will do so in the coming three to five years.
Another 64 percent of the manufacturers surveyed think that US manufacturers will use 3D printing in the production of older parts hence giving the obsolete parts a new face.
According to the same survey, it was revealed that Manufacturers pursue 3D printing because of these three reasons. Innovation, prototyping, and product development, the result of those surveyed shown that 18 percent of them have ten 3D printers and 37 percent own only one 3D printer. However, it was estimated that by 2018 the global 3D printing market would have grown to $13.4 Billion.
Challenge Faced by 3D Printing
The 3D printing technology has some hurdles on its way. 42 percent of companies using 3D printing cited the cost of production using 3D printing as a challenge to them. That was not the case in the previous surveys where cost was ranked the last one. Another 41 percent said that lack of expertise and talent as a challenge. Printer speed and product’s quality were also cited as hindrances to the growth of the new technology.
3D printing is perceived as a technology that will have adverse effects on supply chain and again pose a threat to intellectual property. However, manufacturers have a different perspective on this point, but a majority of them see either of the two as a challenge. All factors constant, 3D printing technology is on the right track in the USA.