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The Destatis figures relate specifically to the manufacturing sector. Among large firms with 250 or more employees, the rate of robot use is 53%; for medium-sized businesses with a minimum of 50 employees, that percentage is 24%. Only 10% of small companies with 10 to 49 employees use robots.

Destatis is in the process of publishing the 2017 figures on the spread of 3D printing. The technology is reported to be used by one in eight businesses with ten or more employees. Large firms are in the lead here again, at 35%, followed by medium-sized enterprises at 19% and small businesses at 9%. These were the first figures collected by the Federal Statistical Office regarding these two future technologies.

Studies from the current year indicate that the use of 3D printing in industry has also increased significantly in 2018. According to a representative survey by trade association Bitkom , 28% of all German industrial companies in summer 2018 were already using 3D printers. And a survey by the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) from May 2018 reported that additive manufacturing was already coming into play for almost half of all machine builders.