Friday, May 24, 2013

China to Open 10 3D Printing Innovation Centers

From Global Times:
Manufacturing group to build 3D printing innovation centers
A Beijing-based trade body told the Global Times Monday that industrial 3D printing will play a "very positive role" in upgrading Chinese manufacturing, echoing a survey of global executives who believe that the Chinese government needs to encourage more innovation to enhance its manufacturing base against the background of a global economic recovery.

Industrial 3D printing can easily create highly complex designs that are too difficult for traditional manufacturing technology, but it is not as good at mass production. So 3D printing will complement traditional manufacturing, not replace it, Luo Jun, CEO of the Asian Manufacturing Association (AMA), told the Global Times Monday.

"Over the past 30 years, 3D printing technology has already been applied in the aerospace, automotive and biomedical industries, and now the conditions are ripe for it to scale up," said Luo, who is also executive secretary-general of the China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance, formed by China's leading research entities and enterprises in the field.

The alliance plans to build 10 innovation centers for 3D printing technology in 10 cities in China in the near future, with a planned investment of 20 million yuan ($3.3 million) for each center. The centers mainly aim to serve manufacturers, and the AMA is calling for fiscal policy support from the government....MORE
See also last month's Economist article linked at:
China: "3D printing---A new brick in the Great Wall"
Ya think this may have some far-flung implications? It's not just robots the Chinese are going after, it's the additive manufacturing end of the 3D biz, metal not plastic.Our second of three posts from The Economist today:

Additive manufacturing is growing apace in China

ALTHOUGH it is the weekend, a small factory in the Haidian district of Beijing is hard at work. Eight machines, the biggest the size of a delivery van, are busy making things. Yet the factory, owned by Beijing Longyuan Automated Fabrication System (known as AFS), appears almost deserted. This is because it is using additive-manufacturing machines, popularly known as three-dimensional (3D) printers, which run unattended day and night, seven days a week....