The State of Resin 3D Printing: 2022 Survey Results

The results of the State of Resin 3D Printing survey are in. Working with Henkel, we asked readers a range of questions, from the applications and technology they are working with to levels of satisfaction with materials and the most influential factors on a purchase decision.

Alongside the survey, we also conducted a series of interviews with experts in the resin 3D printing world. You can read the series here

About the data

The survey was conducted in March 2022, and the final sample size was 198.

Almost a quarter of responders (22%) who use 3D printing said they were familiar with Henkel’s Loctite resin portfolio. For this group who were not currently using Loctite 3D printing materials, nearly half (49%) said they would consider using them in the future.

The users of resin 3D printing classified themselves according to their usage of the technology at the following levels:

Low Volume31.13%
Medium Volume25.17%
High Volume13.91%

The users reported 3D printing systems from 46 manufacturers were in use: 3D Systems, Ackuretta, Anycubic, Asiga, B9Creations, Boston Micro Fabrication, Carbon, Cincinnati, Creality, Creatbot, Cubicure, DWS, Elegoo, EnvisionTEC, EPAX, Fabrica, Flashforge, Formlabs, ifun, Longer, Microlay, MiiCraft, Nexa3D, Origin, Photocentric, Phrozen, Prodways, Propriety System, Prusa, Qidi, Rapidshape, RPS, Sirayatech, Solidator, Solidscape, Sprintray, Stratasys, Tethon, Uniz, Voxelab, W2P, XYZprinting, and Zrapid.

Of the professional users, 24% own printers made by Henkel’s OEM partners, and 10% actively use Loctite resins. Regarding user satisfaction, four Loctite resins (High Impact, Flame-Retardant, PROLINE, and High Temperature) scored as four or above on a five-point scale.

The most influential factor for Loctite users was product availability, followed by price. Sustainability scored lowest. 

Respondees purchased resin from 41 different vendors. The most frequently named vendors were as follows: 

Primary Resin Manufacturer%
Other/ Not Identified14.65%
Siraya Tech6.37%
3D Systems3.82%
Henkel Loctite3.18%

Which industries are using resin 3D printing?

When users of resin 3D printing systems were asked about the industry they are using the technology for, we saw Engineering and Consumer Goods both featured frequently. Lower-ranking were Dental (7.8%) and Audiology (4.2%). While both these sectors are utilizing 3D printing, one explanation for the lower response rate might be that these markets are dominated by a smaller number of companies that operate high-volume production.

Note: respondees were able to notify us they were working in multiple industries. 

Which industries are using resin 3D printing? Image by 3D Printing Industry.
Which industries are using resin 3D printing? Image via 3D Printing Industry.

How satisfied are users with functional resins?

We asked readers to rate a range of functional resins for 3D printing on a scale of one to five. Respondees provided their assessment of High-Temperature, Flame-Retardant, High Impact, General Purpose, and Elastomeric resins. Of the five categories, readers were least satisfied with Flame Retardant resins, with a score of 2.9 out of 5. Elastomeric resins fared only marginally better with a satisfaction score of 3.1. 

On the satisfaction score, General Purpose resins performed the best.

2022 Resin 3D Printing Survey. User satisfaction scores. Image via 3D Printing Industry.
2022 Resin 3D Printing Survey. User satisfaction scores. Image via 3D Printing Industry.

What is preventing users from changing material suppliers?

In terms of factors keeping users from changing material suppliers, Closed Material Systems were top of the list. Ranking much lower was Price (12.9%) and the Ease of Use (6.5%).

Resin 3D Printing Survey:  Changing Material Supplier. Image via 3D Printing Industry.
Resin 3D Printing Survey: Changing Material Supplier. Image via 3D Printing Industry.

What are the most important purchase decision factors?

Turning to factors influencing purchase decisions, we asked respondees to rank eight factors on a scale ranging from Not Important to Extremely Important. The percentages were then calculated for respondees who ranked a particular aspect as Very Important or Extremely Important. 

Product Availability and Durability were recorded as factors ranking highly in a purchase decision by readers, with over 70% of respondees viewing the factor as critical. 

Interestingly given the amount of coverage both by the 3D printing industry and in the specialist and broader media, less than half of respondees listed Sustainability as a Very Important or Extremely Important factor.

Resin 3D Printing Survey: What are the most important buying factors? Image via 3D Printing Industry.
Resin 3D Printing Survey: What are the most important buying factors? Image via 3D Printing Industry.

How can resin suppliers improve 3D printing materials?

In addition to the quantitative data collected, we asked readers to tell us about changes they would like to see. In response to the question, “How could your resin supplier improve its products or services to better meet your or your customers’ needs?” a range of replies came in. These included environmental concerns calling for “Better environmental testing,” “More eco-friendly materials and easier cleanup, i.e., rinse with water versus chemical,” and “water washable” instead of chemical-based cleaning.”

Pricing, packaging, and product quality were also mentioned, “Lower price, faster curing,” “Better “real world” durability,” “Larger bottles,” and “Better ordering and delivery of intact cartridges.” Other comments included the importance of safety data sheets and industry standards for polymer AM, plus a general demand for more material choice.

Do you agree with the results of this survey? What are your thoughts about the issues raised here? Get in touch if you want to share your perspective.

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