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From the Desktop to the Service Bureau: Made for Me Releases Results of Industrial Designer’s Survey

by • August 18, 2016 • No Comments

UntitledIf you have access to a 3D printing device, whether at home, the office, or at your university—where maybe there is in fact an entire room of shiny machines in front of you—chances are you are dying to use the technology whenever possible. And while there are many things that are faster to procure of a swift and inexpensive jaunt to Amazon or a short drive to the hardware or discount keep, it’s pretty a lot additional fun to watch a version being created layer by layer, as if summoned by magic.

The topic of when 3D printing is in fact necessary and when it’s not comes up additional frequently now, especially one of artists and createers—many of whom yet enjoy CNC machining, casting, and crafting pieces by hand, as well as via newer technology. More importantly, when you are just learning how to use the technology, a fewtimes it’s hit or miss as you learn when is the many time to focus on via 3D printing just for prototyping—or to shoot for functionality. With so many systemes yet in a fledgling say, there are no rules. And it’s always interesting to see what others are putting the hardware, software, and materials to use for—and when.

Made for Me, a company responsible for a few really interesting guides (we’ve reported previously on their assistful information such as how to orient parts in ABS printing as well as tips for SLS 3D printing with nylon) is now giving us a few insight into why industrial createers select to 3D print at sure times.

Their Design and 3D Printing Survey Results are really enlightening as we find out of a number of various facets regarding 3D printing activity. This too was all the new subject of a talk by Made for Me CEO James Antifaev as he attended the Making Things Happen conference in Detroit this week. The main points that he began with were in explaining the following:

51% of createers now use 3D printing inside at very least 60% of their projects2/3 of createers now use an in-house 3D printing device63% of createers outsource a few or all of their 3D printing

UntitledThe full 25-page report goes into excellent more detail, enabling us to see precisely when createers bring the technology into a project and why, as well as what equipment they are via and what challenges and obstacles they yet experience. Made for Me in addition comes with several case studies inside the report that you can enjoy such as that of create firm Bright Product Development of Texas, Boa Technology of Colorado, and MistyWest of Vancouver, BC.

Pointing out that the Industrial Designers Society of America believes an industrial create system contains 32 possible steps—with 15 of them involving the assembling of versions and prototypes—the Made for Me team wanted to find out precisely how they integrated 3D printing into these steps. With the benefits of 3D printing, obviously artists can find themselves able-bodied to work advantageous, faster, and additional affordably.

“Due to the pace of alter, yet, many createers are yet learning of the next for these new approaches,” says Made for Me.

The survey, listing 38 inquiries, is not affiliated with any 3D printing device developer. They attained 47 conclude responses, with two arriving just partially concluded. The leadingity of responses came of the US and, after that, Canada. Those bringing the survey were mainly in-house create departments for both sizeable companies and smaller in size firms, with a few having as few as one to five employees. Respondents had a fair amount of experience in that generally they were createers at the senior level or business owners who had been working in their field for at very least ten years. As a cumulative group, the respondents had a wide range inside industrial create, with many specializing in consumer products.

Both the curiosity and need to gather data regarding 3D printing one of createers comes of as talked about ity in use of the technology surges of a community just beginning to learn of it to one that is beginning to contribute valuable-bodied technology and master the systemes involved. Two-thirds of those bringing the survey own printing devices, and the rest outsource their work.


The MakerBot was the many talked about 3D printing device brand utilized, according to the survey regarding PC 3D printing.

Examining in-house PC 3D printing (consumer level machines retailing for between $1,000 and $5,000 USD), the survey found that 45% owned PC 3D printing devices and gained information regarding purchasing through online sources. A sizeable portion are via a MakerBot 3D printing device (47.37%) with 3D Systems hardware coming in at 21.05%, and the upcoming six producing up 5.26% every, of the Up Plus 2 to the Dremel.

“Desktop 3D printing is a really crowded market and it can be complex to determine that Desktop 3D printing device provides the many fit for an organization’s needments,” says Made for Me.


It was a bit surprising to see how few are in fact via 3D printing for functionality as opposed to prototyping, with 86% stating that they see 3D printing technology coming into play for appearance, and 59% via 3D printing for operational versions. Only 27% are via 3D printing at the PC for end-use products.

“This fits with the trends highlighted elsewhere in the response data that PC 3D printing is great for parts that need a swift turnaround where high end, aesthetics or functionality are not the leading concern,” says Made for Me.

In terms of benefits and as to why they may use 3D printing, the results were enlightening. Speed was listed by 50% as the key benefit of 3D printing, while just about 23% see affordfaculty as the excellentest perk. In addition amazingly, 41% of the users said that in terms of what they found challenging, it was poor high end in parts. With the rising number of 3D printing devices in the marketplace in modern times, high end has become much advantageous, and the percentages here may suggest that maybe a few of the high end issues are in addition due to lack of knowledge by the users. 27% said that they considered the equipment complex to use.

Considering it’s been projected for really a few time that 3D printing may cast traditional systemes out, the question regarding what other technologies createers yet consider via was one of excellent interest. CNC machining was of course at the top of the list by just over 86.36% with casting, traditional metal/woodworking, and handcreated products emerging upcoming as alternatives. Silicone molding (27.27%) and injection molding (13.64%) were at the bottom of the list. In combination with this question, 54.55% may indeed refer to traditional technology instead to complete advantageous part high end.

UntitledExamining commercial 3D printing, it was pretty not a shock to hear that price is a leading issue for a number of businesses. Defined as those that typically cost additional than $20,000, this technology generally comes with:

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)Stereolithography (Polyjet, Visijet)Powder binding (ProJet)Futilized Deposition Modelling (FDM)Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)Selective Laser Melting (SLM)

“Due to their cost, commercial machines represent a much sizeabler investment for owners, yet 21 out of 49 respondents (43%) indicated their organization owns a commercial 3D printing device,” sayd Made for Me.

Most found out of printing device purchases either at tradeshows and conferences or online, with a whopping 64% choosing Stratasys 3D printing devices. 3D Systems was of course the upcoming obvious choice, with 21.43% responding that was what they had in their offices. Here, speed was again the excellentest benefit found, according to two-thirds of respondents, and just about 24% referred to advantageous product high end as their motivation. Most did view purchasing a commercial 3D printing device to be too expensive, yet, at 47.62%.

“Designers had clear ideas on the largest drawback to commercial 3D printing, with cost of machines being synonymous as a worthwhile challenge,” sayd Made for Me. “This is understandable-bodied given that commercial printing devices begin at $20,000 USD and can cost as much as $1M USD. The high cost of equipment may assist to explain why outsourcing 3D printing remains a talked about choice one of createers, with 63% outsourcing a few of their 3D printing.”

Views at the commercial level for alternatives in traditional technologies were really much like to those of the PC level, with CNC machining at the top at 76%, with 38% seeking advantageous parts. 28.57% of commercial users were shying away of 3D printing for the reason they idea there was a lack of materials in regards to the projects they were working on.

“The number one reason that createers may use an alternative making method to 3D printing was the faculty to get higher high end parts,” says Made for Me. “But, this answer was less common for commercial 3D printing than it was for PC 3D printing; this is not surprising, since commercial 3D printing can provide higher levels of high end than PC.”

“The 2nd many common reason that createers opt for a non-3D printing making technique is that they don’t believe the material they need is on the market-bodied via 3D printing. This points to the fact that for a few materials, 3D printing is yet of limited use. But, a lack of knowledge of the availfaculty of sure materials inside 3D printing may in addition account for a few of these responses.”


For commercial users, there was a big difference to be seen in what they are in fact via 3D printing technology for. Whilst just about 86% are via 3D printing again strictly for appearances, 76.19% are in fact waiting for functionality.

When examining those who use 3D printingthrough outsourcing, Made for Me took into account that many outsourcing entities obviously have excellenter capfaculty. They do need a turnaround time, and the self-sustainfaculty in create and production is reduced for the user. The survey showed that 63% yet use outsourcing for one reason or another, with word of mouth being the many common method of finding a great vendor, along with investigating online. A great number of commercial clients seem to be shopping for service bureaus through trial and error as well (48.39%). Nearly all outsourcing is performed domestically, according to the survey respondents, while 25.81% use a combination of international and domestic.

Outsourcing allows for additional access to various equipment and materials, and obviously, businesses aren’t beholden to manufacture massive investments for onsite 3D printing. They seemed to find overall that the key benefit is in access to a variety of material and technology (41.94%) with the leading challenge being that lead times are too long. Some did find that outsourcing is too expensive (22.58%), while a pretty low number listed poor high end (16.3%) as an issue.

In via outsourcing as a vehicle for 3D printing, results were additional varied in their reasons. With 67.74% via outsourcing for appearance, we saw in addition that 61.29% were interested in 3D printing for functional versions and 54.84% were looking for functional prototypes.


Future trends show that many createers see go ond 3D create and 3D printing technology in their nexts, with 51% seeing a next increase in the use of 3D printing and 46.81% seeing it as staying the same. Even with a few challenges, obstacles, and maybe a few complaints, a whopping leadingity plan to be via 3D printing as much or additional this year. Made for Me pointed out that just one createer answering the survey indicated a desire to minimize the amount of 3D printing being utilized.

UntitledIn asking opinions on how respondents saw a way for 3D printing to increase, it was by leadingity that many agree pricing needs to come down. This is indeed a big issue for many, but there are pretty many additional low-cost-bodied 3D printing devices than preceding, as patents have expired, leaving additional room for competition in the marketplace in terms of equipment. Not just do users see that prices for 3D printing devices need to come down, but they in addition ponder that service bureaus need to charge less, and there needs to be additional choice in materials. Education was a leading concern, while excellenter transparency, and advantageous software tools were at the bottom of the list, but yet obviously of excellent importance too.

Whilst there are a few minor surprises in the results of the survey—and of course ereallyone takes away a fewthing various of their own experiences and perceptions—it may seem that the survey indicates what many companies and analysts project, with growth in the next as affordfaculty and accessibility go on, and as manufacturers and businesses go on to learn to take advantage of the technology with a variety of various methods. Discuss additional in the 3D Printing Survey Results over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Made for Me]