Germany leads in 3D printing
Oliver Sorkin, vice president Europe at Formlabs, an American 3D printing company with an office in Berlin, explains why Germany is capable of meeting the demand. “Three factors are always critical in Germany,” he says. “Firstly, Germany is a place for manufacturing, both for hardware generally, and specifically in the field of medicine. Secondly, a large number of our customers, CAD/CAM users in advanced dental technologies, are in Germany. And last but not least, the conveyor belt of talent in Germany, together with the world-renowned universities and education institutions make Germany a hub in central Europe.”
The two industries that are set to be revolutionized by 3D printing according to EY are aerospace and automobility: industries in which Germany is traditionally strong. Aerospace, which demands ever-lighter, more geometrically complex parts in ever-smaller batches, has become an early adopter of the technology. The auto industry’s take-up of AM is projected to increase from $365.4m in 2015 to $1.8bn in 2023, resulting in a staggering 19.51 percent Capital Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
Other industries will also benefit from the infinite versatility that 3D printing methods offer. “The advances in prototyping, where we began, to low-volume production, small-batch manufacturing and mass customization is relevant to all industry sectors and is growing proportionately across all markets,” Sorkin points out.