ROBO 3D recently conducted a Survey with Northrop Grumman. In it, engineers, analysts, and product support staff were asked if they would prototype more often if 3D printing were more accessible and easier to use. 85% said YES. The respondents were also asked if they saw any additional applications for 3D printing (other than prototyping) within Northrop Grumman. 48% said YES.
Now, we might debate where and how they should get access to 3D printing, but one thing seems clear. Access begets innovation. People who have access to 3D printing think about using it to solve big problems.