In February 2014, Price WaterHouse Coopers and ZPryme interviewed hundreds of major industrialists. From this survey, it appears that only one-third of them still have no 3D printer.
For nearly one-third of the companies surveyed, manufacturers are still that experiment with additive manufacturing technologies. However their adoption is progressing. Currently, one quarter used for prototyping only, but almost 10% claim to use both for the realization of their prototypes but also in their manufacturing process.
5 industries impacted by 3D printing
3D printing democratizes gradually in enterprises. PWC’s report points out that if the technology is not new, the multiplication of processes, available materials and the lowering of the cost of 3D printing opens door engineering and, more slowly, those of production workshops. In addition to the evaluation phases, it is prototyping which remains the main motivation of enterprises to buy its first 3D printers.
Consultants from Price Waterhouse Coopers have pondered, industry by industry, in the process that will take advantage of 3D printing. Thus, automotive industry will achieve in 3D printing of parts combining several currently exhibits in the traditional way. In addition to the accelerated realization of prototypes, 3D printing will enable the realization of specialized tools and the realization of spare parts to the unit. The aerospace sector can produce parts to the geometry impossible to produce classically, lighter pieces.
Another area that will be impacted by the 3D printing, health futures. The production of prostheses is already largely based on 3D printing. It will also be the case for the printing of models of organs for education or to allow surgeons to practise before the operation. Finally, analysts suggest the bio-printing of tissues for therapeutic trials.
The other two sectors addressed by PWC may seem anecdotal, yet in turnover, they might well be major opportunities for manufacturers of 3D printers. The first is the distribution sector where stores will be able to directly produce various small products, such as toys, decorative elements, and various spare parts. Finally, more surprising, they are sport equipment manufacturers that already produce their prototypes in 3D printing, but also produce new forms in this way, including new helmets, shoes with better performance thanks to biomechanical data.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source : “The road ahead for 3-D printers”, PWC, Issue 2, 2014