Additive manufacturing (3D printing) 

Additive Manufacturing (also known as 3D printing ) is the process of making objects from 3D model data by joining materials layer by layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies, such as traditional machining.

It is one of the most promising key enabling technologies: thanks to its high degree of design freedom, it allows the manufacturing of complex-shape products, in relatively small number and in a cost efficient manner.

Additive manufacturing (AM) makes use of a series of techniques such as selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, stereolithography, and inkjet bioprinting. For these reasons the aeronautical industry and the medical industry are sectors where Additive Manufacturing is flourishing, with critical applications, as medical implants (for health, healing and quality of life), load carrying structural parts and engine components for aircrafts (for energy savings and improved performance).

For the future, the technology has also the potential to address concerns about the waste and environmental impact of traditional manufacturing processes and supply chains.

CEN and CENELEC contact person: Goncalo Ascensao

News and events

No current event.

Technical bodies and activities

CEN/TC 438 ‘Additive Manufacturing’ was newly created in January 2015 with a UNM Secretariat on behalf of AFNOR.

Main objective is to provide a complete set of European standards on processes, test procedures, quality parameters, supply agreements, fundamentals and vocabulary based, as far as possible on international standardization work (i.e. possibly to apply the Vienna Agreement with ISO/TC 261 "Additive Manufacturing" as to ensure consistency and harmonization). Secondly, CEN/TC 438 aims to strengthen the link between European Research programs and standardization in additive manufacturing and ensure visibility to European standardization in this field.

European legislation and mandates


Useful links and documents