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Sculpteo: 2021 in review

Posted By on Jan 14, 2022 |

Happy New Year! Another year has come to an end, and it’s time to look at what has happened this past year in 3D printing and at Sculpteo! Let’s take a closer look at the 3D printing industry in 2021. 

What happened in 2021 in the 3D printing industry?

More disruptions in supply chains 

With the continued pandemic and a lost shipping container named Evergreen, many more businesses felt disruptions of their supply chains and turned to the resilience of additive manufacturing. The pandemic has helped many companies see the benefits of additive manufacturing for supply chain resiliency while placing a more considerable emphasis on production flexibility. They are resulting in more serial production for 3D printing and an increase in demand for localized, on-demand small batch production.  

A continued push for sustainability in 3D printing 

Another key topic this year was sustainability. It has already been a key trend since 2020 as companies are increasingly aware of the need to rethink their business model or manufacturing journeys to meet climate goals. Sustainability was continuously on the agenda this year and will continue to impact many businesses’ actions next year. The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association welcomed 22 organizations this year, bringing their membership to 33 organizations from 11 different countries (source). 

The year for acquisitions, consolidation, and mergers in 3D printing

Finally, 2021 was a year for acquisitions and consolidation, but not in the traditional sense of acquiring a business to gain more market share but instead to have more capital to increase production capacity and meet the growing needs of businesses and customers. These new acquisitions allowed 3D printing manufacturers to become better equipped, having consolidated and strengthened their AM service offerings, establishing a greater presence in their respective markets, and allowing them to expand further and grow with their customers for years to come (source).

What happened in 2021 for Sculpteo?

6th Edition of the State of 3D Printing Report 

Sculpteo, a leader in online 3D printing and digital manufacturing, released its sixth edition of The State of 3D Printing. This annual international survey offers a complete overview of the additive manufacturing world to help improve 3D printing business strategy. The 2021 survey showed that 3D printing continued to change the industrial manufacturing landscape radically. Industries noted: these new technologies offer a significant asset in improving their production process and boosting their business strategies. For Power Users (Users of 3D printing in a work context with substantial investment and experience using the technology), the scalability of 3D printing is more evident; 49% say they use it for large series production. 

In-person trade show openings 

2021 finally saw the re-opening of in-person trade shows, albeit at a much smaller scale. From Luxepack to UVA and Paris 3D print, we were able to meet with you in person, discuss your goals and projects face-to-face, and share with you what has been brewing over at Sculpteo. It was exciting to see our customers again and discuss new projects in person. We heard from many of you that although we couldn’t meet face-to-face, the quality of service and attention to our customer’s needs continued online. 

Sculpteo grew its production capacity 

We introduced its new line of resins and expanded our production capacity with HP Multi Jet Fusion, incorporating two additional HP Jet Fusion 5200 3D printing solutions to focus on, and scale applications produced with BASF Ultrasint® TPU01 and give our customer’s shorter lead times for their parts. 

And last but not least, here are a few highlights from our Customer Stories series! 

  • With Generation Robots, discover how a digital inventory can help create on-demand customizable parts. 
  • Soar the skies with Tundra and go from prototype to production in a flash. 
  • Getting medical resources to remote and hard-to-reach regions is made possible through the work of WeRobotics and their 3D printed drones. 

What to expect for 2022?

Now that we’ve reflected on the past year, naturally, we want to anticipate what challenges and new beginnings this coming year might bring! With a close eye on what is happening in the 3D printing industry, we’ve come up with some trends of what we think will develop further in the coming year, and read about what you can expect from us! 

The ever-evolving 3D printing Industry 

Continued increase of on-demand printing

Supply Chains will continue to be affected by the ongoing pandemic and perhaps an unexpected event; therefore, a continued increase of on-demand 3D printing for highly customizable parts and to alleviate supply chain issues will continue to be a trend.

Improvements towards sustainability in AM

With an increased demand for more sustainable practices and manufacturing methods, businesses will need the right technology. We can expect to see more sustainable manufacturing practices, including new technologies and data to help manufacturers and companies meet their climate goals. 

A steady increase in the adoption of AM across industries 

With the continued advancement of digital manufacturing, AM adoption will increase across many industries and will continue to profoundly impact making the impossible possible. Especially in the medical sector, where various customizable medical devices made their debuts this past year.  

Looking ahead with Sculpteo 

We are already collecting data for a new State of 3D printing report. To be released this spring, so keep an eye out for it! You can also expect to see us and meet with us at more trade shows (so long as it is safely possible). We’ll also have new materials like ebooks and guides focusing on drone manufacturing available later this year. And of course, regarding our ongoing goals for continuous sustainable practices at Sculpteo, a study is being conducted to compare injection molding with 3 AM manufacturing methods for more sustainable practices in partnership with BASF Forward AM. Furthermore, we will be strengthening our recycling stream of excess powder for Nylon PA12 material. 
Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service with over 75+ technologies and finishes. Contact us today to discuss your on-demand project or get an instant quote here!



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