In a representative survey of 553 German companies with at least 100 employees, Bitkom comes to the conclusion that 28% of all industrial companies already rely on 3D printers. This figure was still 20% in 2016. Mostly big companies have modernized their production to date, however: 35% of companies with more than 500 employees use additive manufacturing processes, while only 25% smaller companies do so. In any case, respondents expect that 3D printing will revolutionize production: 70% expect 3D printing to have a disruptive impact , while 49% expect the technology to bring about sustainable changes in manufacturing within the next ten years.
Although the aerospace industry and medical technology are particularly advanced, other sectors are also increasingly replacing established manufacturing processes with modern technology. Currently, 3D printers are mainly used to make molds or tools (34%) and spare parts (32%), but they also serve as the basis for manufacturing visual (23%) and functional (12%) models. The considerable potential of additive manufacturing shows itself time and again in surprising applications: Yhnova, for example, uses the Batiprint3D process to inexpensively print energy-efficient homes.