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A total of around 900 companies in selected countries were surveyed, including 222 from Germany. While in 2016, just 37% of the respondents stated that they were using the technology, the figure now stands at 63%. Three years ago, the figure was high enough to secure Germany a leading role among the industrial nations. However, in the same period, worldwide use has risen from 24% to 65%. Asian countries such as South Korea and China now rank top, with 81% and 78%, respectively. In China in particular, additive manufacturing is seen as a clear priority of economic policy strategy, while in Germany much is still being tested, according to EY . According to the survey, high costs for materials and the purchase of systems, as well as a lack of specialist knowledge is preventing the further spread of 3D printing in Germany.

In science, however, research into 3D printing is being intensified. The University of Paderborn, for instance, has founded an interdisciplinary institute for additive manufacturing (PIAF). With its agenda TUM.Additive , the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has kicked off a research focus on additive manufacturing, which also includes the establishment of a ‘Bavarian Additive Manufacturing Cluster’.