CECIMO study Shows Positive Results for the European Additive Manufacturing Market

Published on December 22, 2021 by Madeleine P.

CECIMO, the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies, has published the third edition of its European study dedicated to additive manufacturing. Conducted over a 6-month period, it focuses on four specific points to identify certain trends in the industry: imports, exports, materials used and target sectors. Overall, the results of this study are positive. The companies surveyed want to continue their investments in additive manufacturing as they are convinced of the benefits it can bring to the industry.

Before looking at the results of this third study, let’s quickly recall the methodology used by the CECIMO. The responses posted are analyzed as the difference between the share of companies reporting growth and the share of companies reporting a decline. Positive percentages thus express a growth while a negative balance reveals a decline.

The report reveals that the aerospace sector has recorded some of the strongest growth in the last 6 months (photo credits: GE Aviation)

Imports and Exports: What Are the Trends?

The CECIMO report looks at both the local activities of the companies surveyed and their relationship with foreign countries. First, the study notes that imports are up compared to last spring’s figures, regardless of the type of offering considered. However, 3D printing services account for the highest percentage (79%) while 3D printed parts and materials both stand at 72%. According to the report, 3 out of 4 companies expressed a growth scenario in this local market, proof that additive manufacturing is well into this industrialization phase.

If we now look at exports, the majority of companies surveyed have recorded more business with foreign countries. This can easily be explained by the resumption of trade and the reconstruction of our supply chains, which were put to the test after months of confinement. It should be noted, however, that the results, with the exception of the “machinery” segment, are all higher on the local market, another proof of this increasingly important relocation for manufacturers.

Target Materials and Sectors

The CECIMO study focuses on the most used materials on the market and the main conclusion of this 3rd edition is undoubtedly the strong growth of metals (73% vs 44% last year). Polymers remain strongly used, offering more possibilities to professionals and manufacturers – some of them are even replacing some metal parts with plastics. The study also highlights the recovery of ceramics: while the balance posted last spring was -41%, it is now at 9%. This is a material that is less known on the market, but more players are now trying to democratize its use. Finally, we note a decrease in the composites segment (7% vs. 42% last year).


The study focuses on the most used materials on the market (photo credits: CECIMO)

The report goes on to analyze which sectors are seeing the most activity: the companies surveyed note strong growth in the medical market (82%), followed by the machinery sector. Aerospace and automotive are the two verticals that have changed the most – their balance was negative last year and now stands at 24% and 37% respectively. This point can easily be explained by COVID-19, which crippled them for many months – especially the aerospace sector. Additive manufacturing will play a key role in both of these industries, which are now marked by strong environmental challenges, whether it be a reduction in carbon footprint or the gradual transition to electric in the automotive sector.

Finally, CECIMO concludes its study by highlighting investments in additive manufacturing. 57% of the companies surveyed say they will continue to invest in 3D technologies over the next 6 months; 38% explain that these investments will be higher while 5% see them lower. You can find the complete CECIMO study HERE.

Medical has the highest balance (photo credits: CECIMO)

*Cover Photo Credits : GE Additive

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