The survey found an increasing need for more education, skills, and training across manufacturers’ organisations. Even as the industry moves towards large-scale AM, 28% of manufacturers reported their personnel lacked AM skills.
The survey highlighted continued optimism among manufacturing executives in the potential of industrial-scale 3D printing to save billions in manufacturing costs [90% agree], drive competitive advantage [84% agree], and economic advantage [85% agree].
The research showed that realising this vision requires change and development throughout the workforce, from designers and engineers to finance and procurement.
The top needed organisational change cited was the expertise of designers [55%], followed by a shift in mindset by production teams [44%], and evolving procurement strategies [38%].
Almost a third of respondents [29%] said they wanted their finance teams to develop a deeper understanding of AM’s cost and value implications, while 26% said it was important to re-educate procurement teams on buying materials for 3D printing rather than focusing on the assets of components.
As AM increases in global prevalence, Essentium is supporting industry partners, customers, and academia to grow a skilled workforce through targeted education and training. This includes enabling engineering designers to design for AM by adopting new principles to optimise a part’s functionality while reducing material, time, and cost. Essentium also supports customers through providing education around procurement and finance strategies on new cost structures, and how AM will impact the supply chain.
Said Blake Teipel, (pictured) CEO of Essentium: “Realising the true value of industrial-scale additive manufacturing is highly dependent on a skilled manufacturing workforce that has the expertise to hone, advance, and support AM processes. We are supporting customers, partners, and universities as they respond to this urgent industrial need for an AM-ready workforce primed to transform the world of manufacturing and the products it creates for both competitive and economic advantage.”