Italy

Although you may know it more for beautiful landscapes, monuments, and the best culinary tradition in the world by a longshot, Italy is a key adopter of AM technologies and one of the top global markets for industrial automation. Its healthy design industry – with Milan as its capital – and high-end luxury products, from Ferrari and Lamborghini to yachts and high-end jewelry, make ideal candidates for the opportunities that additive manufacturing offers in terms of short batch production for limited editions, mass customization and high-performance products.


However, there is also another reason why Italy has been such an early adopter of additive manufacturing and today represent one of the top 5 global markets. If one of the promises of AM is distributed manufacturing, Italy has been a distributed manufacturing nation from it’s “industrial miracle” of the 1960s. The Italian industrial landscape is made of thousands of distributed SME’s. These companies specialize in short to medium production of high-quality goods. To many of them, 3D printers offer the solutions they have been looking for.


On the other hand, there are also many factors slowing down Italy’s adoption of AM. One is the very fact that Italian companies are generally small, family-owned businesses with a very localized view of the market and a chronic inability to scale up globally. Many times this is related to a generalized antipathy for making investments that are considered risky, for example in educating the workforce, adequately rewarding the best talents and in marketing their products to a global audience. This is not true for every company and the fashion, food and furniture design industries tell us that when Italian companies do take these steps, they can be some of most successful in the world.


Another factor limiting adoption is that Italian manufacturing is very much tied to traditional approaches. In many cases, the most high-quality materials cannot be processed by AM, or at least not to the highest standards. For this reason, Italian companies were the very first to implement 3D printing for rapid prototyping and even casting but may not be as rapid in adopting 3D printing for part production.


So what kind of AM companies are there in Italy? Some of the key AM adopters are active in the medical field (Lima Corporate invented 3D printed trabecular titanium implants), others are leading in aerospace (Avio Aero, now GE, built the world’s first fully integrated metal AM factory). There are a number of 3D printer manufacturers, led by Sisma and DWS (active in the dental and jewelry segments with stereolithography and metal PBF systems), and growing industrial filament extrusion system producers such as 3ntr and Roboze. Due to the Italian industry former leadership in the field of plastics, there are also a number of high-quality filament manufacturers. Then, of course, all major automotive companies (FCA, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati among others) are very important adopters of AM, primarily for prototyping. Meaning that there is also a healthy market for the distribution of high-end prototyping systems by EOS, Stratasys, 3D Systems and all the other AM industry leaders.


In this AM Focus, in collaboration with the team from our Italian sister website Replicatore.it and our 3D Printing Business Directory team, we will look at some of the most interesting Italian companies leading the AM revolution in the most beautiful country in the world.


  • Photo of Lincotek opening Additive Production Center in Trento, Italy

    Lincotek Additive, the AM division of Italian global contract manufacturer Lincotek, is opening a new state-of-the-art Additive Production Center at its site in Trento. The facility, which houses a high-vacuum furnace and validated heat treatment process for titanium 3D printed parts, will be dedicated to the development and production of…

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  • Photo of AM service provider BEAMIT now NADCAP accredited

    BEAMIT, an Italy-based industrial additive manufacturing service provider, has marked another milestone in its growth: it has received NADCAP (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) accreditation for Heat Treating processes. The accreditation will enable BEAMIT to take its services to the next level, meeting the needs of high-end ASD…

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  • Photo of Serena Fanara: when 3D printing is at the service of creativity

    When some hear about 3D printing, they think of a cutting-edge production technique that has little to do with art and creativity, but that is not at all the case. To illustrate this side of the technology, we recently spoke with Serena Fanara, an architect and designer with a strong…

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  • Photo of MT Ortho and the production of custom 3D printed bone prostheses

    MT Ortho, an Italian company with decades of experience in the traditional prostheses market, was also among the first to truly embrace the potential of 3D printing for prosthetic production. The company’s journey with 3D printing began in 2014, when it acquired two GE Additive Arcam Electron Beam Melting (EBM)…

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  • Photo of REJOINT offers sophisticated 3D printed knee implant solution

    REJOINT, an Italy-based medical implant manufacturing company, is leveraging state-of-the-art technologies like GE Additive‘s Electron Beam Melting (EBM) 3D printing and IoT-connected sensorized wearables to offer mass customization and therapy personalization. The offering is specifically targeted at the production of patient-specific knee implants for arthroplasty. Knee implants are fairly common,…

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  • Photo of BEAMIT and composite specialist Bercella announce strategic alliance

    Italian manufacturing service provider BEAMIT has announced a collaboration with Bercella, an Italy-based company specializing in composite materials. The companies will combine their experience working with OEMs in the aviation, space and defense industries, as well as their respective areas of expertise (additive manufacturing and composites) to explore potential synergies…

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  • Photo of [Updated] Everything about today’s PEEK ad PEKK 3D printing market

    Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high-performance, engineering thermoplastic characterized by an unusual combination of properties. These properties range from high-temperature performance to mechanical strength and excellent chemical resistance. PEEK 3D printing is likely to be a key driver for the use of AM technologies in mass production. What are the key…

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  • Photo of Italian startup Caracol and its design-oriented AM service offering

    Based in Lomazzo, Italy, Caracol is a newcomer to the additive manufacturing sector, but it has already made a name for itself. The company was founded in 2018 and has brought to the table a comprehensive service offering that helps companies to make the most out of their AM capabilities.…

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  • Photo of Lumi Industries presents low-cost PicoFAB 3D printer for small jobs

    Italy-based 3D printer manufacturer Lumi Industries has announced its newest product, the PicoFAB, a low-cost resin 3D printer ideal for producing small and intricate prototypes and products for the dental and jewelry sectors, among others. The PicoFAB, which will retail for under 150 euros, is powered by a compact light…

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  • Photo of WASP and Technogym bring 3D printing to the wellness industry

    With yearly revenues above €650 million in 2018, Italy-based Technogym is one of the largest global operators in the wellness segment. Since it was founded in 1983 by Nerio Alessandri, the company has focused on key values such as environmental sustainability and innovation, which are clearly reflected in its state-of-the-art…

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