Essentium, Inc., a worldwide leader in industrial additive manufacturing (AM), announced the third in a series of findings from independent global research on the current and future use of industrial 3D printing. The survey found an increasing need for more education, skills, and training across manufacturers’ organizations. Even as the industry moves towards large-scale AM, 28% of manufacturers reported their personnel lacked AM skills.
The survey highlighted continued optimism among manufacturing executives in the potential of industrial-scale 3D printing to save billions in manufacturing costs [90% agree], drive competitive advantage [84% agree], and economic advantage [85% agree].
The research showed that realizing this vision requires change and development throughout the workforce, from designers and engineers to finance and procurement. The top needed organizational change cited was the expertise of designers [55%], followed by a shift in mindset by production teams [44%], and evolving procurement strategies [38%].
Almost a third of respondents [29%] said they wanted their finance teams to develop a deeper understanding of AM’s cost and value implications, while 26% said it was important to re-educate procurement teams on buying materials for 3D printing rather than focusing on the assets of components.
As AM increases in global prevalence, Essentium is supporting industry partners, customers, and academia to grow a skilled workforce through targeted education and training. This includes enabling engineering designers to design for AM by adopting new principles to optimize a part’s functionality while reducing material, time, and cost. Essentium also supports customers through providing education around procurement and finance strategies on new cost structures, and how AM will impact the supply chain.