CECIMO has recently conducted a European Additive Manufacturing Survey on key market trends in the sector.

For those who are not familiar with the organisation, CECIMO is the European association of the machine tool industries and related manufacturing technologies. The organisation continuously works to improve the competitiveness of the European 3Dprinting industry.

To do so, it collaborates with other national organizations across the EU as it is the case for this first survey. The survey has been conducted between September and October 2020, in collaboration with five national associations based in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

By collecting quality data directly from the industry, the survey aims to help companies outline a European overview of the main trends in the current AM market.

In a press communication, the CECIMO team confirms that during this first round, they received a total of 86 replies from the national associations that take part in this project. “It is the first time a survey is conducted to collect data directly from 3D printing companies that operate in the participating countries. It is a six-month survey, and it will help the industry record trend indications for key business areas, such as total business, AM exports, orders by type of material, client industry demand and trend investment” one can read.

First results reveal that in general, AM business within companies and exports show strong positive balances in all categories (products and parts, machines, materials and services). A focus on materials reveals that the plastics’ market is doing better than other types of materials. Metallic materials show a strong 44,3% balance whereas plastics see a 55,6% rate, which would imply that plastic will have a comparatively better growth path than metal, despite the positive outlook for this material. This would be the first time that plastics display a stronger growth than metals.

In vertical industries, CECIMO confirms diverging results for early adopters of AM. According to the results, Aerospace and automotive both register negative net percentages, -30% and -19,7% respectively while the medical sector registers a 61% net balance, the highest score at sectoral level. In the end, those results are not really surprising when we know how the Coronavirus pandemic has  severely impacted the aerospace industry with commercial airline fleets and air traffic down around the world and more. That’s why, we might expect a tightening of AM business in the aerospace and automotive sectors in the short term. On the other hand, the same pandemic has expedited the adoption of 3D printing in the medical industry as technologies really help in shortening the curve of Covid-19.

Last but not least, the current pandemic has also refocused the debate around legislation, and CECIMO’s ability to provide accurate recommendation to EU policymakers. Today, more than ever the organization has no intention to give up the interest of the AM sector.

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