CECIMO, a trade association for machine tools and manufacturing technology, has released the results of the third round of its European Additive Manufacturing Survey.
CECIMO has focused on domestic business, including exports, orders by material, customer demand, and investment patterns, in the newest edition of its industry study, which is aimed to help discover and unravel 3D printing’s main market trends.
Unlike the organization’s spring survey, which found materials to be the fastest-growing segment of 3D printing, the organization’s third poll found that 79 per cent of service bureaus surveyed were optimistic about order growth in the next six months, with the medical sector continuing to scale its adoption of the technology
According to CECIMO’s report, “new orders are currently likely to be the greatest in the additive manufacturing (AM) services sector.” “This result shows significant new order income connected to AM processes like design and product development, computational methods and simulation, support systems and software, application development, and other directly associated services,” says the company.
The EU lobbying effort of CECIMO
CECIMO has positioned itself as a significant representative of machine tool organizations in the EU since its founding in 1950, claiming to speak for 98 per cent of all European tool manufacturers. Over the last six years, the organization has begun to use some of its power to help 3D printing companies by supporting the implementation of regulations that promote the technology’s adoption.
Following the publication of its first 3D printing plan in 2017, CECIMO began working with the EPMA to make the technology more scalable before establishing an EU committee that allows it to speak directly with policymakers. The group has consistently lobbied the EU through this channel to ensure the best possible outcomes for the expansion of its member additive manufacturing enterprises.
CECIMO lobbied for a single set of 3D printing standards between the United States and the European Union in 2019, claiming that this would remove one of the major impediments to the technology’s development. More recently, the group has asked the EC to investigate 3D printing’s eco-friendliness potential as part of its Sustainable Product Initiative and lobbied for innovation-friendly laws at the AMEC.
CECIMO established its European Additive Manufacturing Survey last year to better understand how it can best serve the interests of its 3D printing members, and while its first report identified a rise in medical adoption of the technology and its second predicted increased product and material demand,
its latest findings show that the industry’s service segment is now leading the way.
Identifying AM Trends in the Autumn
CECIMO’s third poll, like its previous ones, collected data directly from 3D printing companies operating in the European nations where it operates between September and November 2021.
The business filtered responses by section before merging participants’revenue projections to come up with an average expected growth percentage to seek out trends
from the resulting data.
CECIMO claims that their study found “extremely robust new order expectations in all AM categories” for the next six months when it comes to domestic demand.
While service providers are the most optimistic about order growth, 72 per cent of companies selling products, components, and materials expect a similar trend,
and machine orders are “far stronger than in the spring,” according to the survey.
In keeping with its domestic findings, CECIMO’s data shows that the services segment of 3D printing has
the highest export growth indicators at 66 per cent, followed by products and materials at 57 per cent.
This spike in shipments, according to the group’s research, represents a shift in technology from
companies looking to fill supply chain gaps, with exports currently at their highest level since the survey began.
In terms of materials, according to the organization’s poll, demand for printed metals is outpacing demand for all other materials, with 70% of producers expecting development in this area.
Orders for ceramics have rebounded from a 41% drop in autumn 2020 to a 9% increase,
while CECIMO’s ‘other materials’ category has seen its numbers halved in that period,
indicating a move toward polymers and alloys.
Increased demand for 3D printing
In other parts of the report, the group claims that demand for 3D printing in aerospace and automotive is
beginning to recover from COVID-19’s impact and both industries could see 36 per cent
growth in the next six months, while its investment figures show that 38 per cent of AM firms saw an increase in investment during the surveyed period.
CECIMO concluded its report by stating that “AM’s growth path is expected to continue in the following period,” with material R&D potentially driving future demand for machines, thanks to investors’ continued optimism about 3D printing.
“The medical and machinery sectors have the fastest growth rates, but it’s encouraging to note that managers are anticipating
more order intake from the aerospace and automotive industries,”
“When it comes to the shift to electric vehicles in the automotive industry and reducing
the CO2 footprint of aircraft, we believe the additive manufacturing sector will play a critical role.”
Source: AM report