Market Insights

New 3D Printing Industry Index reports first data

The 3D Printing Industry Index, launching today, is the latest addition to our expanding suite of analytical tools and databases for the additive manufacturing sector.

Every quarter, the 3D Printing Industry Index will be compiled and published. The index is constructed using a survey of leading enterprises in the 3D printing industry. It is intended to be a measure regarding past, present and future sentiment towards several key metrics from the perspective of industry leaders.

In coming months, our survey results for the current quarter end of June 30 will be joined by corresponding data points for future quarter end dates. This will allow analysis of trends in the 3D printing industry to be conducted.

What is a sentiment index?

Sentiment indexes are powerful and widely used macro-economic tools. Central bankers, economists, financial analysts, VCs, investors, financial managers and journalists use them for forecasting, trend analysis and generally to gain insights.

Well known indexes include the IFO Business Climate Index, GfK Consumer Climate Index, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.

Our approach with the 3D Printing Industry Index is similar.

The data for our index is collected by surveying a representative sample of the additive manufacturing ecosystem on a quarterly basis.

As a global industry, enterprises from across the world are represented. These range from operations with fewer than 10 employees to much larger enterprises. Hardware manufacturers, 3D printing material producers, 3D scanning companies, resellers, bureaus and the other enterprises that comprise the 3D printing industry are all represented.

This panel will be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure the Index is a valid representation of the industry.

We will publish highlights and insights from the 3D Printing Industry Index for readers. Companies who participate in the panel survey will have access to a wider dataset.

Methodology for the 3D Printing Industry Index

The 3D Printing Industry Index is based upon the responses to a 5 question survey.

The questions address trading activity for the past and coming quarter, past and future hiring plans and changes to the gross margin. The full questions are as follows.

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?

There are 3 parts to the Index, the Global, Present and Future.

From the responses to the survey the index is calculated as follows.   

Global Index: S = (n+ – n-)/(n+ + n- + no)

n+ the number of positive answers, n− the number of negative answers and n0 the number of neutral answers.

We also calculate the Present Index from the answers to questions 1 and 3, and the Future 3DPI Sentiment Index from the answers to questions 2, 4 and 5.

The resulting value of the Index will range between -1 and 1. A negative figure indicates that a majority of the panelists are pessimistic. While a positive value  indicates that a majority of the panelists are optimistic. The closer the value is to 1 indicates just how positive sentiment is among the panelists.

We intend to publish the 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index quarterly in July, October, January and April. Once several quarters worth of data is collected trend analysis will be possible.

Results of the June 2018 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index

For the quarter ending the 30th of June 2018, the Global 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index is 0.69. This value indicates a strong optimism among the panelists.

The value for the Present 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index  stands at 0.75. This demonstrates a healthy state for our sector. The Future 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index is calculated at 0.65 for June 2018. This is a strong result. It bodes well for the sector in the months to come.

While the graph below only contains data for June 2018, in coming quarters it will be used to track trends in the 3D printing industry.

The survey will be conducted again for the quarter ending on 30 September. To join the panel please contact us.  

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