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In its quarterly survey of German companies’ demand for digital experts, the Handelsblatt notes a record growth in 3D printing. In the third quarter of 2017, demand for qualified personnel grew by just under 550% compared to last year . The business and financial newspaper considers this a measurable proof of the beginning of a fundamental change in existing production processes.

Modernization could be hampered, however, by a shortage of skilled workers. Admittedly, large companies such as ThyssenKrupp and Deutsche Bahn are increasingly establishing their own additive manufacturing capacities. At least in the short term, though, how the rapidly growing demand for specialists should be satisfied cannot yet be foreseen. One possible solution is the continuing vocational training of existing employees. Small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, benefit from government-sponsored initiatives such as Niedersachsen ADDITIV . They not only inform decision-makers about the basic possibilities of the new technology, but also advise on the conversion of production and offer companies basic seminars and advanced training to acquire the appropriate skills.