Recent estimates from other sources show the US has the largest installed base of 3D printers in the world (at 422,000 units, the US uses considerably more 3D printers than any other country). While adoption has increased over 2020 and due to the sheer size of the US market it is tempting to think it is a mature one – but this is not the whole story.
Over 60% of US businesses that could potentially benefit from 3D printing do not use the technology at all. This means there remains significant future potential.
The US market is large because its economy is large and there are many big companies active in the US – adoption by 38% of such a large potential market quickly equates to a significant volume of printers. But this still masks the fact that there remains many mid-sized and smaller businesses (and even some larger ones) that are still at a fairly early stage of their adoption journey.
Currently only 19% of US professionals would describe their level of knowledge regarding this technology as advanced or expert – that means that the greater majority feel they only know the basics or nothing at all. Although barriers to adoption were slightly lower than in the 2020 Index, operational capabilities (67%), employee knowledge (65%) and building a sound business case (40%) still limit companies in unlocking opportunities. The operational capabilities that are the biggest cause of concern for companies are faster printing, integration with existing tools and software (ecosystem), and the reliability or accuracy of parts.