The 3D Printing Association (3DPA) exists to promote, develop, and support every aspect of the 3D printing industry in Europe. With the aim of serving its members as thoroughly and as efficiently as possible, we conducted a voluntary, industry-wide online survey among a pool of over almost two thousand 3D printing market professionals and organisations in order to determine the Association’s medium-term goals and strategy. This resulted in a total response of 182 qualified responses.
The outcomes of the internet survey in 2015 were validated with a group of industry stakeholders at the 3D Printing Summit held in February 2016 at the building site of the 3D Printed Canal House project managed by DUS Architects in Amsterdam (see photos). The conclusions from that summit form the basis of the association’s current strategy.
Survey results reveal that most respondents are not already members of 3DPA but look favourably on the establishment of a member-driven trade association for 3D printing and additive manufacturing, representing all segments of the 3D printing eco system. According to the respondents’ breakdown, members are most to likely to be 3D printing services/makers as well as equipment and consumables manufacturers or distributors located in the US and Europe. The preferred geographical scope of such a collective would be global, but with continental chapters. The top 3 priority functions of such an organisation would be PR and public education; connecting stakeholders with each other through networking via an independent platform, and advocacy.
In formalising the 3D printing community under the umbrella of a dedicated association, specific areas of priority were recommended for further exploration during a stakeholder meeting to determine the 3D printing association’s target audience, goals and strategy going forward: industry growth, networking, information exchange, education, public affairs/relations representation, and standardisation.