• World rank:1
  • Index score:166.9

In the market

  • Awareness The percentage of respondents who are aware of either the term ‘3D printing’ or ‘additive manufacturing’ 77%
  • Adoption The percentage of respondents who have adopted 3D printer technology in their business 34%

Among users


Key applications

  • 77% Prototyping
  • 77% Production tools
  • 57% End-use parts

Key materials

  • 75% Plastic/polymers
  • 24% Carbon fiber
  • 25% 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


USA is a large market but still has untapped potential

Estimates for 2019 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).

Due to the sheer size of the US market it is tempting to think it is a mature one – but this is not the case. Two thirds of US businesses that could potentially benefit from 3D printing do not use the technology at all and only about one in 10 believe they have progressed to a mature stage in their implementation of the technology. 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 one third 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 16% 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 (in nearly one quarter of cases) currently know nothing about the technology at all. The US respondents in our survey identified a lack of knowledge in their wider business as a significant challenge or barrier to future growth (47%). For Ultimaker this means that finding ways to help customers and prospects to educate their colleagues as to the benefits of 3D printing will represent the key to driving accelerated adoption.


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