The UK has some 168,000 3D printers installed as of 2019 – one of the largest installed bases in the world (second only to the USA). It is also generally regarded as one of the larger markets by some sources.¹ Within the context of this survey the UK represents one of the bigger economies and so has greater potential to consume significant numbers of printers than smaller economies such as the Netherlands or Switzerland.
In terms of overall adoption levels the UK moved ahead of the global average in this year's Index, increasing to 47%.
37% feel the technology will have a significant impact on their business next year and many can see the potential in terms of not just prototyping but also more advanced applications. Lack of knowledge and skills are acknowledged as key barriers that customers and potential prospects will need to overcome in order to see further growth in the market.
The UK government would like the UK to become a leading light in the additive manufacturing sphere and there seems to be some political will to drive this agenda. However, distractions such as the consequences of Brexit could make it difficult for the UK government to do this as forcefully as it would like.¹