Among the most innovative manufacturing solutions of the last decade, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have been identified as one of the most promising production technologies at global level. They are considered to empower the transition from mass production to mass customization in several leading sectors. AM Technologies are mainly concerned with “High performance manufacturing” and were identified as a segment with “particular high growth potential” and a global market volume of 2.2 billion dollars in 2012 that is expected to grow to 11 billion dollars in 2021. The potential for Smart production and efficient processes opens new perspectives, which has very often be associated to a possible new “Industrial Revolution”.
AM Technologies correspond to relative high levels of technology maturity or even market maturity already: some applications have reached TRL 9 and are broadly deployed, but many more are at post-prototyping level and should be fully deployed soon, i.e. in a time window of 3 to 5 years