7/24/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Survey Says: “Top Shops” Use 3D Printing

The annual benchmarking survey reported more Top Shops with 3D printing capacity than ever before. Learn more at the first Top Shops conference.


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What makes a machine shop into a “Top Shop”? Each year, Modern Machine Shop (sister publication to Additive Manufacturing) tackles this question with a survey of machine shops. Participating shops answer questions relating to shopfloor practices as well as operational and business metrics; those that score in the top 20 percent are designated “Top Shops” and serve as the benchmarking group for all shops to compare their performance against.

Increasingly, the survey is finding that businesses in that benchmarking group are more likely to use 3D printing technology. This year, 37 percent of Top Shops reported having AM equipment, a considerable increase over the 19 percent that reported this equipment in last year’s survey. Virtually all of those shops are 3D printing prototypes, but 74 percent use the technology to manufacture tooling and fixturing for use on the shop floor. Furthermore, 13 percent are producing end-use parts additively.

Want more insight? Register for the inaugural Top Shops Conference, taking place September 5-7 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to learn what it takes to be part of this elite group. In addition to additive manufacturing, Top Shops honorees and industry experts will deliver presentations on topics including automation, workforce development, machine monitoring and more.

(And don’t forget to take the Top Shops survey next year. It’s the only way to access the full results and see how your shop compares with leading machine shops.)