• World rank:5
  • Index score:114

In the market

  • Awareness The percentage of respondents who are aware of either the term ‘3D printing’ or ‘additive manufacturing’ 76%
  • Adoption The percentage of respondents who have adopted 3D printer technology in their business 53%

Among users


Key Applications

  • 82% Prototyping
  • 93% Production tools
  • 56% End-use parts

Key materials

  • 84% Plastic/polymers
  • 31% Carbon fiber
  • 50% Composites

Perceived benefits
of 3D printing

  • 3D printing will have a significant positive impact on the business next year

  • 3D printing can offer extensive benefits to bring new concepts and design ideas to life

  • 3D printing offers a much more effective way of making tools, jigs, and fixtures than traditional methods

  • 3D printing is the most efficient way to
    produce small batches of products and components


Among largest 3D printing markets with significant room for growth

The installed base of printers in China is substantial but by no means the largest in the world (although it is one of the largest). And given the size of the Chinese economy, this would suggest there is substantial potential for future growth.

3D printing is widely adopted across Chinese industry compared to other countries (although, as the total installed base is still dwarfed by the US, this would imply relatively small numbers of printers in use on average overall). This may well be about to change. China is very positive about the application of this technology for the future.

In terms of its use of the technology, the Chinese show a significantly higher desire to use composite materials and to adopt applications for production tools than other countries.

Chinese respondents were among the most optimistic and confident in our survey, and with good reason. Most sources agree that 3D printing is growing fast in China.1 China’s 3D printing industry is expected to have an output value of $7.68 billion, or one third of the global market, by 2020, according to a forecast by the China Industry Information Institute. 1


Why does 3D printing sentiment matter?

Sentiments are the start of a domino effect. Positive sentiments lead to positive behavior and investments, resulting in a future of significant and sustainable market growth.

© Ultimaker 3D Printing Sentiment Index