The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), one of the most highly ranked technology universities and research institutions in Asia, has officially launched a 3D printing research facility to facilitate the growth of the region’s 3D printing industry and market. According to PolyU, its University Research Facility in 3D Printing (U3DP) is the largest 3D printing facility in Hong Kong.
As a long-term strategy to innovate the local 3D printing industry and market, U3DP will be dedicated to serving students and researchers, as well as to product innovation and materialization of concepts. The center will be used to enable students to transform concepts into physical models using high performance 3D printers, develop new materials, structures, devices, sensors and 3D Printers and collaborate with other organizations and experts for product innovation.
At the opening ceremony of U3DP, John Leong Chi-yan, Chairman of Hospital Authority, briefly spoke about the collaboration between PolyU and Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH). He stated:
“We are proud to see the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Simulation Model unveiled today, it is a made-in-Hong Kong technology that benefits our patients and help train our doctors. PolyU is one of the pioneers in developing 3D printing technology on healthcare, while the QEH simulation training experts and cardiologists have made much effort and contribution over the years in training doctors with ultra-high operative skills before they walk in the operation theater to conduct complicated surgical procedures. It is encouraging to see the two great teams work together, I look forward to seeing more collaboration of such kind in the future.”
PolyU’s U3DP allows students at the institutions to efficiently transform concepts and ideas into physical models with the help of professional researchers and high performance 3D printers. The opportunity to operate high performance 3D printers developed by companies such as 3D Systems is rare due to the cost of the machinery. High performance 3D printers can cost upwards of millions of dollars and are only sold to institutional buyers and clients.
PolyU Council Chairman Chan Tze-ching further noted:
“The U3DP will provide an innovative and inspirational environment for faculty members and students to make the best use of their capability in innovation and creativity. It will also help strengthen industry-PolyU collaboration through research and consultancy.”
More importantly, by establishing one of the largest 3D printing-focused institutions in Asia, the university will be able to facilitate collaborative projects between some of the leading research institutions in countries, including South Korea and Japan, that recently experienced massive surges in interest and demand for 3D printing technology.
Previously, 3DPrint.com offered an insight into the Japanese 3D printing industry and the rapidly growing demand toward 3D printer manufacturers and service providers by large-scale conglomerates. A study led by the International Data Corporation (IDC) Japan revealed that the total sales of the domestic 3D printing market in 2015 reached $310 million. Since then institutional investors have funded various initiatives from medical institutions and as a result, organizations including Tottori University Hospital have introduced innovative use cases of 3D printing technology.
Already, PolyU has secured a partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to train medical staff at QEH with a 3D printed simulation training model. Over the past few months, an increasing number of medical institutions have utilized such methods to train emerging surgeons with lifelike simulations. According to PolyU’s official statement, the Hong Kong government is in support of U3DP and the innovation it is leading in the development of “Industry 4.0.” Discuss in the PolyU forum at 3DPB.com.[Source/Images: PolyU]