Market Insights

3D Printing Industry Index reports latest additive manufacturing data

The 3D Printing Industry Index is a quarterly survey of sentiment in the additive manufacturing sector.

We launched the index earlier this year, alongside opening several databases we maintain to track investment, venture capital activity and other financial data. After completing the quarterly survey we make selected highlights of the survey available to readers. It is anticipated that after collecting a sufficient number of data points it may be possible to identify trends within in the industry.

Readers are free to make use of the published results, with appropriate reference, if you require access to the wider dataset please contact us for more information.

The index is calculated after collecting answers to the following questions:

  1. How was trading activity at your company during the past 3 months?
  2. How do you expect trading activity to be during the coming 3 months?
  3. Has your company expanded its 3D printing workforce in the last 3 months?
  4. Does your company intend to expand its 3D printing workforce in the next 3 months?
  5. How do you expect gross margin to change in the next 3 months?

You can read more about the methodology for the 3D Printing Industry Index here.

Results of the September 2018 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index

The results reflect the answers received for the most recent reporting quarter ended 30 September 2018.

The Global 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index was 0.63, a decrease from the 0.70 recorded in the previous quarter.

The value for the Present 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index also returned a figure of 0.63, down from 0.76 at the end of June.

The Future 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index was calculated at 0.64 for September 2018, down from 0.65 in the previous quarter.

3D Printing Industry Index Q3 2018.
3D Printing Industry Index Q3 2018.

Trends in the 3D printing industry

While it is too early to draw any firm conclusions from our sentiment index, the importance of seasonality should be considered. All industries experience a fluctuation in demand throughout the year, additive manufacturing included.

Historically, a number of companies in the 3D printing industry have reported a strong end to the year with fourth quarter results exceeding those in the preceding third quarter. There are a number of factors that can explain this, one is the final effort that goes into ensuring sales are booked before accounts close for the year end.

Judging from the responses to our survey for the third quarter, this appears to be reflected in the global decline in sentiment from 0.70 in Q2 to 0.63 in Q3, a 9.3% decrease. However, when this movement is considered alongside the much smaller decrease in the Future Index figure, a 2.3% decrease, it may be argued that the decline does not reflect a longer term dampening of the sector. It is also worth noting that the Index runs from positive 1 to negative 1, so the Q3 Global Index figure still remains within the upper quartile range.

As we continue to collect data points the trend index will become an increasingly useful tool.

The survey will be conducted again for the quarter ending on 31 December. To join the panel please contact us.  

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