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Singapore Strengthens Support for 3D Printing with $30 Million Research Center at NTU

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The Nanyang Technological University (NTU), one of the two largest Singapore universities, has launched a $30 million research center aimed at developing next generation 3D printers for use in medicine and industry.

The facility will also contain a $5 million laboratory, in partnership with 3D printer manufacturers SLM Solutions, to develop technology that could print customized knee and bone implants to fit individual patients.

The lab, called SLM Solutions@NAMC, aims to develop next-generation 3D printers to create much larger parts than is currently possible with today’s technology, as well as develop systems to print multiple materials in one single build.

Opened this morning [26 May] by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, the research center, named the NTU Additive Manufacturing Center (NAMC), contains some of the very latest in 3D printing technology, including laser-aided machines for printing metal parts and bio-printers that are able to print real human tissue.

“Our new additive manufacturing center not only aims to collaborate with industry to develop innovative, practical solutions but also brings together the best talents in the field,” said NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson.

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, opens NAMC

Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, opens NAMC

While medical devices and tissue printing are among the NAMC’s key research areas, the university intends to remain at the forefront of 3D printing technologies and has the backing of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

“Although we are a young university, NTU is already leading with two decades of research and development in this field,” added Professor Andersson.

The opening of the research center also marks the end of two International 3D printing competitions for jewelry and architecture organized by NTU, which saw 86 entries submitted from seven countries (71 jewelry and 15 architecture).

Professor Chua Chee Kai, the Center Director and one of the world’s leading academic experts on 3D printing said: “We want to show the true potential of 3D printing, how it can be used in real life for rapid prototyping and actual products, and not just for toys and plastic crockery as commonly perceived.”

“As more low-cost printers come onto the market, 3D printing is now more accessible to the public and this enables people to see their ideas and design become reality, something they can see with their eyes and hold with their hands. This is what true engineering is about – creative and practical innovations that will benefit society,” added Professor Chua.

Discuss this latest news in the Singapore Research Facility thread on 3DPB.com.

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