Enabling the Circular Economy with Additive Manufacturing – Exploring Best Practices

07 November 2022

The transition towards sustainable and circular manufacturing demands a gradual shift towards new practices and technologies that minimise environmental impact and preserve energy and natural resources.

The Circular Economy action plan launched in 2020 by the European Commission includes several policy initiatives that aim to increase the level of sustainability in all industrial ecosystems.

Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to provide multiple sustainability advantages by proposing a novel paradigm for design, manufacturing, and business models. This enables more cost and resource-efficient production. Although the sector could further improve its own carbon footprint, particularly during the phase of raw material production and AM product manufacturing (two steps in the value chain that require the highest energy consumption), the use of AM can be offset with the saving achieved by using the end products.

Why a brochure?

CECIMO, with the support its network of National Associations decided to collect best practices from AM industries with the goal to promote AM as a true enabler of circular economy. The Brochure gives examples of different technologies and how their application can help different sectors to improve their production sustainability.

"The ambition to create a brochure focused on additive manufacturing arose from the opportunity to support the European targets set in the Circular Economy Action plan. In that respect, the brochure provides a list of case studies in Additive Manufacturing technologies that could help companies across different industrial ecosystems improve their product sustainability." - Filip Geerts, CECIMO Director General


"Additive manufacturing can help speed up industry’s green transition. CECIMO will continue to champion the application of Additive Manufacturing with policymakers, ensuing that this technology plays a role in the European Green Deal." - Stewart Lane, Chairman of the CECIMO Additive Manufacturing Committee