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Survey Forecasts Growth for EU Additive Manufacturing

July 21, 2021
The European machine-tool manufacturing consortium issued the results of its latest outlook for the region’s AM/3DP activities, including domestic and foreign orders, demand for new machinery and materials, and more.

The EU federation of machine-tool manufacturing recently reported the results of its latest survey of additive manufacturing developments, which collected data for insights to AM businesses, exports, orders by material type, target markets, and investments. The European Assn. of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies (known as CECIMO) conducted the survey during April and May among different trade associations in the region.

CECIMO is a consortium of machine-tool trade associations for 15 countries, representing approximately 1,500 business in Europe (EU, plus EFTA and Turkey), and 98% of the total machine-tool production in Europe and about 33% worldwide. Its purpose is to coordinate information on members’ business activities and to promote regulatory and performance standards affecting their products and operations.

The Additive Manufacturing study – EU’s second on this subject – is a six-month outlook of activity for 3D-prining companies operating in the region, and concerns their domestic and overseas shipments, orders by type of material, consumer-market demand, and investment trends.

CECIMO found that that EU regional new orders for AM products and parts, machines, materials and services should rise over the six-month period, with the highest growth rates forecast for AM products/produced parts and AM materials categories, just ahead of AM machines.

AM services will have a slower but still strong expansion during the forecast period.

As for exports, the forecast for AM orders over the next six months is similar to the outlook for domestic orders. Overseas demand for AM services and AM production machinery also forecast growth.

Growing demand for AM materials will be led by plastics, with metals somewhat distant in second place. AM ceramics are expected to offer negative growth in the coming six months, as will the AM composites.

As for AM consumer markets, the outlook for new EU orders is generally strong. However, the forecast for new orders from aerospace customers are improved from the previous survey, but still do not indicate growth.

Better results are foreseen from the chemicals/pharmaceuticals sector, and the automotive sector.

Indicators for the industrial machinery sector are improving over the past forecast, while demand from the medical sector are the strongest of all.

CECIMO reported that the AM Confidence Index is higher than during the previous reporting period, and that AM growth should continue through the survey period thanks to growth indicators for both EU domestic and international business activity, supported by increased capital investments in the AM sector.

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