While 3D printers have gained notoriety in recent years, this segment of the printer market is poised to take a major step forward as adoption rates increase and solutions become more viable.
According to new survey findings from International Data Corporation (IDC), opportunities abound as 90% of respondents at companies that utilise 3D printing are “very satisfied” with their experience. Much of this high satisfaction is tied to the business benefits gained from the ongoing use of 3D printers in the creation process.
Manufacturing and very large companies currently represent the most promise for 3D printer sales; however, new pockets of opportunity will continue to emerge.
“These printers are typically acquired for a specific creation workflow, but once in place the usage expands rapidly to other types of applications,” says Keith Kmetz, vice-president: Hardcopy Peripherals Solutions and Services at IDC.
“The early adopters who recognised the substantial cost and time-to-market benefits of 3D printing have carried the day, but it’s their overall satisfaction and the ability to expand usage that will ultimately drive 3D printing to the next level.”
Additional survey findings include the following:
* Features such as ease of use and service/support are nearly as important to respondents as price.
* A direct vendor-to-customer relationship is key, but this varies from company size and vertical market.
* 3D printer penetration percentage climbs with the size of the organisation.
* Current non-users show a rather tepid interest in 3D printers overall, but IDC expects this to change in the near term as 3D printers expand into more mainstream adoption.