Essentium Inc. has released findings from independent global research on the current and future use of industrial 3D printing. Findings show that even as the industry moves toward large-scale additive manufacturing (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).

However, realizing this vision requires change and development throughout the workforce. The most imperative organizational change cited was designers’ expertise (55%), followed by a mindset shift among production teams (44%), and evolving procurement strategies (38%).

Almost one-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 component assets.

As AM increases globally, 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 by providing education around procurement and finance strategies and how AM will impact the supply chain.