"3D printing’s greatest value is not as a technology, but as an enabler to derive greater business value." This is the main finding of a new independent survey sponsored by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
, a division of Stratasys
established in 2014 as one of the world’s largest 3D printing and advanced manufacturing (AM) services that combines the latest technologies and experience from Solid Concepts, Harvest Technologies and RedEye. Together, they have nine manufacturing facilities scattered throughout the United States with 700 employees, an arsenal of AM equipment, custom formulated materials, and ISO 9001, AS9100, as well as ITAR certifications.
This survey asked professional users of 3D printing: how they will use 3D printing over the next three years, what they see as the greatest benefits of and hurdles to 3D printing adoption, what they believe is its business value, how they see product development evolving, their plans to invest in owning the technology and what they believe the role of service providers will be.
Overall, respondents expect their companies to expand their use of AM, most will increase in-house capabilities to meet the demand, yet many want a partner to augment their internal manufacturing capacity and guide them through the expansion of internal capabilities, providing technical support and design consulting.
Joe Allison, CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, explained what the survey's findings reveal about the future of 3D printing for professional users: "They confirm that the growth over the next three years will largely come in end-use production with an emphasis in metals. These two trends combine to drive the third trend: a demand for expertise and know-how. Companies need help identifying new additive applications to determine the technology that can best fufill those needs. For end-use part production, they need support in optimizing 3D printing processes to bring costs down, while fully leveraging 3D printing's benefits and its business value."
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is sharing these results with industry to help advance 3D printing adoption and help manufacturers maximize the business benefits of AM. And, the company is more than ready to help on both of these fronts with its blend of additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies, including its expertise and capabilities in plastics and metals AM (stereolithography, laser sintering, fused deposition modeling™, direct metal laser sintering, urethane casting, CNC machining, tooling, injection molding and professional finishing).
The company has and is expanding its capacity by adding advanced manufacturing centers for end-use parts, tripling its metals capacity in the past 12-15 months, adding CNC centers, improving fused deposition modeling capabilities and bringing its injection molding back to the United States. They have also developed a new optimized service model that involves project engineering, applications engineering, manufacturing engineering, high-end consulting services and professional services.
Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is committed to championing AM into reality saying, "It's time to look beyond the "coolness" of the technology to discover its real business value."
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