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3D printing to be utilised by three quarters of Europe’s SMB’s by 2020

Following new research by Ricoh Europe, it has been revealed that almost three quarters of Europe’s small and medium sized businesses (SMB) believe that 3D printing technology is vital to reduce costs and improve agility.

The research found that 44% of the 2,370 SMB leaders surveyed from 23 different countries have already invested in 3D printing with a further 30% planning to invest within the next two years.

From the businesses that were surveyed, it was revealed that 70% of businesses are aiming to utilise 3D printing to introduce new manufacturing strategies and techniques.

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It was also noted in the findings that 80% of SMBs are expecting to produce 3D printing into their product development cycles with 56% hoping to utilise the technology to decrease the cost of storage, shipping and materials by printing products for customers-on-demand.

“New forms of print are levelling the playing field for SMBs,” said David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe.

“By helping to mitigate production and development issues, smart organisations are using 3D printing to remove some of the key obstacles they often encounter within their supply chains or when competing with larger rivals. This is critical for any firm looking to scale and establish a stronger presence in the market.”