This IDC study analyzes the benefits of 3D printing across a number of Western European markets and examines its potential in the future. IDC carried out 20 qualitative interviews with 3D printer users in Germany, France, and the U.K. across the following verticals: aerospace/defense, architecture, bike/ski binding manufacturing, bottling equipment manufacturing, ceramics, civil engineering, consumer electronics, dental surgery, footwear production, hydropower production, motor home manufacturing, museum, packaging and creative design, pharmaceutical sciences, car racing, university, and veterinary medicine.
"Western European economies are at the initial stages of technological revolution. The speed of 3D printing adoption will depend on costs, competition, the reliability and speed of the printers, as well as new materials and applications," said Julio Vial, research manager, IDC Imaging, Printing, and Document Services.
"Now that industry awareness around 3D printing has become high and the wave of first adopters has already swept across many sectors, it is time for vendors to better focus their efforts around users — they need to be more responsive to their needs," said Silvia Cosso, senior research analyst, IDC Western European Storage. "Despite the admirable technology progress and investment effort of vendors, the 3D printing sector still needs to mature on both technology and commercial grounds. Now that the expiration of intellectual properties is lowering barriers to entry, vendors that can reach maturity on both grounds will be able to weather the upcoming more competitive phase of 3D printing."