• World rank:6
  • Index score:104.9

In the market

  • Awareness The percentage of respondents who are aware of either the term ‘3D printing’ or ‘additive manufacturing’ 71%
  • Adoption The percentage of respondents who have adopted 3D printer technology in their business 26%

Among users


Key Applications

  • 73% Prototyping
  • 59% Production tools
  • 38% End-use parts

Key materials

  • 84% Plastic/polymers
  • 14% Carbon fiber
  • 28% 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


Cautious market lags behind, but with significant long-term potential

Japan may be famed for its embrace of technology but, in terms of 3D printing, attitudes appear a little conservative and adoption slow. Figures for the installed base of 3D printers show Japan is currently on a par with France and behind countries like the UK, Germany, and even Mexico (all of which have more printers in use).

Figures from our survey confirm the view of a fairly conservative market. Awareness of the technology at an overall level is reasonably good and detailed knowledge is reasonable (about average). The proportion of Japanese companies which claim to have adopted the technology to the stage where it is embedded in their business is in line with global averages – however, wider adoption (as a proportion of the total potential) is low and behind the global average.

Those Japanese companies that use the technology are keeping pace in terms of their deployment of applications and materials. However, they demonstrate less inclination to embrace composites and a slightly greater interest than average in metal printing.

Other Japanese sources such as the Yano Institute echo the view that use of 3D printers in Japan is relatively lower than other countries. 1 Other sources also indicate that interest in metal printing in Japan seems to be high. 2 Could it be that the interest in metal printing limits interest in other materials (such as composites) and, in some ways, may be symptomatic of conservative thinking?

1https://www.yanoresearch.com/en/press-release/show/press_id/2056 2https://www.illies.com/news-events/metal-3d-printer-related-market-forecast-by-nedo/

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