At the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore they're celebrating something huge: the opening of a new additive manufacturing center that cost the equivalent of $30 million USD to construct. It's stocked with all of the latest 3D printing technology including a bioprinter, an Objet Eden350V Polyjet Machine, a Stratasys Dimension Elite FDM Machine, a Z-Corp ZPrinter310 and a Selective Laser Melting System capable of printing parts for a variety of industries. NTU hopes that by investing in this center China will be able to place itself at the forefront of the worldwide trend in additive manufacturing.
"Due to its ability to address volatile industrial demands and because it can adapt easily with evolving technological trends, additive manufacturing is the optimal choice of technology in today's knowledge-based economy. The NTU Additive Manufacturing Centre will be keeping Singapore at the forefront of 3D printing technology, developing capabilities not yet available elsewhere in the world," said Professor Chua Chee Kai, chair of NTU's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the new center.
Students at NTU will get hands on experience with the machines while researchers work with Chinese businesses to provide rapid prototyping solutions. "By training students and collaborating with industry on R&D, we hope the centre will enable companies in Singapore to take advantage of this exciting technology as they develop better products. In the longer term, we see additive manufacturing as one of the disruptive technologies which will ensure that our manufacturing industry remains globally competitive," said Julian Ho, assistant managing director of the Economic Development Board.
To celebrate the opening of the new additive manufacturing center NTU has chosen to host its first international 3D printing competition. The contest has two main categories; one devoted to the design of wearable modern fashion and the other for the best design of an abacus. The two categories were chosen as a way to represent the vibrant mix of cultures which meet in Singapore. The top prizes for each category weigh in at around $10,000 each. For more information on the contest you can visit the official rules page here.
China is also home to the world's largest Laser Sintering 3D printer which they are using to produce full-size titanium parts for military aircraft.