According to a new survey by Subcon 2017, additive manufacturing is on the verge of breaking through as a mainstream production process. Nearly a quarter of the respondents said that they use additive manufacturing or 3D printing for production components and 85% said they expected to do so in the next five years. Just a year ago only 21% said they would use additive manufacturing for production components in the next five years and 35% said they might.
This trend is opening up a new market for subcontract manufacturing services, as a third of respondents said they would use an external supplier to produce these components. Of those companies that already have components produced by additive manufacturing, 37% use an external supplier.
Subcon runs from 6 to 8 June alongside the Advanced Manufacturing Show and The Engineer Design and Innovation Show at the NEC, Birmingham. The disruptive transition that additive manufacturing promises in component production is a featured topic in the two free-to-attend conference streams that run alongside the three shows.