ACCESS-3DP is a transnational project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

The project aims at taking Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) as a new, disruptive technology under the umbrella of Advanced Manufacturing in order to set out frameworks to train and upskill workers in the craft and creative industries.

It is implemented by 5 different organisations in France, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing

AM is an important asset in the European Union, responsible for driving research and innovation

Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (or 3D printing) is one of the most promising technologies under the umbrella of Advanced Manufacturing, identified by the European Commission as one of the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). In the EU market products strongly depend on KETs, representing 19% of all EU countries, with 3.3 million jobs and 11% of all employment sector in the EU.

According to Wohlers Report 2016, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry grew by 25.9% (CAGR – Corporate Annual Growth Rate) to $5.165 billion in 2015. The 2019 report predicts that the AM industry will keep growing with $23.9 billion by 2022 and $35.6 billion by 2024 [3]. Analysts (ING, for instance) predict that 40% of all production globally will be additively manufactured by 2060.

Advanced Industrial Robotics

Other Advanced Manufacturing technologies, like Advanced Industrial Robotics (AIR), are slowly emerging for small and micro enterprises. Just like AM, AIR is a transversal technology requiring investment and knowledge on design and software can bring crafts closer to the market’s needs by customizing batches (i.e. footwear). The global market is estimated to reach $6.4 trillion by 2025.

Hence Advanced Manufacturing technologies are often adoptable by relatively traditional sectors. However, they often need ready and competent workers. And when they do have a high level of technical skills, workers often lack capacities for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial approach to use such technologies. These are required capacities if the capital (tools, machines) is to be exploited to the maximum of its potential.

AM in numbers

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of global production AMed by 2060

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generated by AM globally by 2024

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global reach by Advanced Industrial Robotics by 2025

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EU market products depending on KETs​

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enterprises in the EU-27

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jobs depending on AM in the EU-27

AM applied to the crafts sector

Particularly hit by the competition coming from China and Asia, crafts company Pomini in the north of Italy changed its business strategy and invested in 3D printing technology in order to diversity, innovate and create new business opportunities.

The Pomini company teamed up with a creative designer and together they developed a series of lamps, which were then manufactured by Pomini’s 3D printers. At the same time, it introduced customisable sunglasses and other interchangeable accessories.

Such change saw a rise in the company’s exports of 3-5% in 2014 and it is predicted to keep rising. Moreover, according to research, the 3D printing technology can boost revenue of Italy’s small and micro enterprises by 15% amounting to €16 billion.

Pomini is of course attached to the Italian tradition. As such, the means of producing may be technological, but it does not forget the aesthetics of the past.