America has been the clear leader in the technology sector, especially when it comes to emerging technology like 3D printing and scanning. Manufacturers in the U.S. are quickly adopting 3D printing as a way to cut costs, shorten time for production, and expand their designing options. Japan has been left behind, fearful of losing a portion of their manufacturing market to the U.S., as well as other nations.
This week the Japanese Government announced a major initiative to create an alliance, in which they will invest heavily into next generation 3D printing technology in order to recapture their manufacturing success. The alliance will be spearheaded by the Government’s 3.8 billion yen ($36.5 million) contribution, but that will just be the start. There are a total of 27 companies, which include, Mitsubishi , Nissan, Panasonic, Kawasaki, and others. These companies will all contribute 500,000 yen per year to the alliance. in addition several University are involved in the research and development that this new alliance will pursue.
They hope to have the first 3D printer prototypes ready sometime next year, with finished machines ready by 2019. The alliance will look to produce printers capable of creating titanium-based products such as airplane parts and joints, using molten metal, via laser sintering.
It appears we are entering some sort of economic arms race, where nations are looking to technology to maintain their manufacturing advantages. China, the U.S., Britain, and Japan all have major initiatives in place to fund 3D printing technology in some way. Discuss Japan’s future within the 3D printing industry at 3PrintBoard. (Source: Nikkei)
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