Business Advantage Worldwide CAD Trends Survey
3D Printing Trends
50% Growth Anticipated in Year Ahead, 130% within 5 Years
The IT, software and telecom industry research specialist Business Advantage Group announced its 2014 Worldwide CAD Trends Survey last week and this week announced more details specific to the 3D Printing trend.
“3D Printing is currently used by 14% of the CAD users surveyed and strong future growth is anticipated. By the end of this year 21% expect to be using 3D Printers and in the next 5 years 32% expect to be using 3D Printing. This growth is likely in all sectors and regions although current usage by region shows higher usage in the Americas (26%) than in EMEA (12%) and Asia Pacific (11%) as well as higher usage in large companies (28%) than in medium (16%) or in small (6%),” said Chris Turner, CEO/Managing Director of Business Advantage. “Of course this survey is with users of CAD technology so it is only predicting growth related to that audience whereas 3D Printing has other applications (e.g., so called additive manufacturing), so its overall market growth is probably higher than this survey is predicting. Perhaps less encouraging for 3D Printer manufacturers is the very low brand recognition among CAD users -the majority could not name their brand of 3D Printer.”
Based on those CAD users already using or planning to use 3D printing the main benefits are seen as design improvements (63%), savings in design time (54%) and cost (24%), as well as faster response times to market (38%) so confirming that product designers in particular have much to gain from 3D printing. The ability to 3D print low-cost physical prototypes early and locally is speeding the design process by enabling tangible design checking and improvement of form, function and fit as well as testing customer reaction with fast iterations.