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back to index backEUROtalk October,  2016


European industrial 3D printing in its infancy and needs extensive collaboration, new EU report says

The industrial 3D printing revolution is often talked about, especially as something that is going to be huge in the near future. And the numbers certainly don’t lie; Gartner polls have shown that 65 percent of supply chain professionals intend to invest in 3D printing within the next five years. But industrial 3D printing can refer to anything from prototypes for car interiors to surgical implants and actual spacecraft components, and it’s very difficult to see how the industrial 3D printing revolution is doing at this very moment – new technological breakthroughs or one-off surgical solutions can’t speak for entire multi-billion dollar sectors.

Fortunately, the European Union has been studying this very issue itself, and just released one of the most comprehensive reports on industrial 3D printing so far. Entitled Identifying current and future application areas, existing industrial value chains and missing competences in the EU, in the area of additive manufacturing (3D printing)”, it has been compiled by a gargantuan team of EU specialists and looks at the entirety of industrial 3D printing within the European Union. While more than 450 pages long, 3ders.org takes a closer look at the 3D printing obstacles, pitfalls and possibilities the EU found in its industrial circles, as well as at their observations about the current state of what could be the fourth industrial revolution.

But for starters, you could be thinking: why does the EU care about 3D printing? The short answer would be that the European Commission – the EU’s executive platform – is very strongly interested in job creation and economic growth. Unfortunately, more than 3.5 million industrial jobs disappeared within the EU in the wake of the economic crisis. Reindustrialization and economic modernization have since become key targets, and the EU Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020 has a budget of nearly €80 billion to support those efforts over the coming years. Besides Horizon 2020, other instruments such as the European Structural and Investment Funds and the European Fund for Strategic Investments are also supporting investments in innovation and the real economy to foster growth and jobs. It is in that context that the Commission sought to comprehensively map  3D printing in Europe. Dr. Pierre Padilla (IDEA Consult), the main contributor to the report, calls the result a unique piece of work which should support the development of new collaborations across European regions and players in the future”.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: 3ders.org - GAI






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