Mar 21, 2016 | By Alec

Where would be without CAD software? It’s been indispensable for the 3D printing industry, to such an extent that you might start to believe it was specifically designed for 3D printers. But of course CAD software has been around for a long time and is being used in a variety of industries. However, the 3D printing industry is one of the markets with the biggest growth potential for CAD developers, a new survey on worldwide CAD trends by Business Advantage reveals.

In case you’ve never heard of them, the Business Advantage Group is an B2B market research specialist that focuses on IT, software and telecom industries, who studies trends in over 100 countries around the world. They have just concluded their 2016 report on the worldwide CAD Trends Survey, which also includes future predictions for the coming five years. “This annual CAD Trends survey of design, engineering and management professionals is designed to assist CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM and PLM users and software companies with their planning for 2016 and beyond. The report tracks key trends and opportunities in the CAD market,” says CEO Chris Turner. It’s the third annual report on the CAD market they have produced.

Of course it touches a lot more than just 3D printing. Completed with the help of 610 professionals from around the world, the report covers 15 trends, including ‘3D modeling’, ‘2D drafting’, ‘Building Information Modeling (BIM)’, and ‘Cloud Based CAD’– as well as 3D printing. But of those fifteen, they have ranked 3D printing among the sectors with the strongest growth potential, alongside‘Mobile Access to CAD’ and ‘Augmented/Virtual Reality’, among others.

What’s more, CAM software has become much more popular over the last year, with usage increasing by 37%. CAM, of course is Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), the use of computers and software to guide manufacturing machines such as 3D printers. The report further reveals that almost 70% of those users (or those people planning to use CAM) believe that the use of 3D CAD models to automatically generate machining instructions is very important. Sixty percent of those people also want to see software developers work harder on integrating CAD and CAM software, something 3D printer users could also greatly benefit from.

On the whole, however, the CAD industry is doing well. Nearly 60% of CAD users, the report reveals, are downloading 3D CAD models at least once a month, with 50% of manufacturing users downloading multiple models per month. The people who almost never download a model has dropped to just 10%. What’s more, the report also singles out Concurrent Engineering (72%) and PLM (67%) as having good growth potential over the coming years.

The report, which can be found in full here, also contains a lot more information in regards to the complete CAD market, including data on country and region and on various brands. “We believe the contributions of CAD, CAM, PLM, PDM and CAE to productivity growth across many industries are vitally important and very interesting to many worldwide,” the analysts say. But one thing is crystal clear: 3D printing has become an integral part of the CAD market and the software’s future.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Mike Hammock wrote at 3/21/2016 6:47:22 PM:

I have long believed that this type of innovation will increase the numbers of our engineering / tool -and- die ranks in America and Abroad. Go 3d Printing! Mike@ShortcutSolutions.Net

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