Additive Manufacturing (AM) has been seen as a game changing technology helping to reduce material input, boosting the trend of personalized goods, enabling new business models, etc. As the production costs are high, AM needs to find relevant niches, AM requires new thinking. AM not only implies technological challenges but most of all new thinking of engineers and business model innovation.

Clusters – working at the interface of researchers, companies and policy makers - can help the successful implementation of additive manufacturing by disseminating Success Stories and Best Practices, connecting knowledge, infrastructure and market, enabling innovation across disciplines and business sectors.

CLUSTERIX 2.0 partners formed a working group on this topic in order to share experience on funding instruments, trainings and services of clusters for fostering 3D printing.

21-23 November 2018, ecoplus hosted a meeting of the working group in Vienna and Wiener Neustadt. The participants, policy makers and cluster managers from Romania, Hungary and Flanders, had the opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in fostering 3D Printing and to visit a research institution and a company working with this technology in Lower Austria.

The meeting was embedded in the international Metal Additive Manufacturing Conference, which offered insights in the latest state of the art and future research topics in 3D Printing.

Based on the exchange of experience in the CLUSTERIX 2.0 G 3D Printing the Lower Austrian stakeholders agreed on launching a pilot voucher scheme for 3D printing as part of the Lower Austrian CLUSTERIX 2.0 Action Plan.