New Zealand’s Green Party thinks that 3D printing is the future for their country. The technology which promises to add a realm of customization to traditional manufacturing techniques, is progressing steadily and will soon be on par, in terms of speed and capability, with more time consuming injection molding, as well as other traditional manufacturing methods.
The party released its “Blueprint For The Future” paper, as part of its “Smart Green Innovation” package recently. The paper outlines part of the party’s political platform for next year’s election.
While the plan doesn’t exactly say what aspect of the 3D printing market New Zealand should pursue, it does call for the development of a national strategy for additive manufacturing. The report also calls for the creation of a task force to investigate the feasibility of the technology and to encourage its development in schools and local communities. According to the paper, if New Zealand gets serious about the additive manufacturing industry, its economy could see a tremendous boost.
“New Zealand imports around $11 billion of manufactured products each year, around a quarter of our total merchandise exports,” the report said. “Producing more products domestically would have a positive impact on New Zealand’s balance of payments and stimulate economic development.”
“As a percentage of total filled jobs, manufacturing-filled jobs dropped from 26.1% in 1975 to only 15.7% in 2005. 3D printing offers an opportunity to grow jobs in a new growth industry, making up for many of these lost jobs. This point was identified in a 2010 Australian Government commissioned report which found that Additive manufacturing is an enabling technology that can help the Australian manufacturing industry achieve [its] goal and we can do likewise. 3D printing offers New Zealand a new future-focused manufacturing niche.”
The party authored the paper because New Zealand is falling behind other countries on the 3D printing front said Green Party Information and Communications Technology spokesman Gareth Hughes.
“Other countries are investing significant and considerable attention in digital manufacturing in areas like 3D printing and New Zealand risks being left behind if we don’t develop a national strategy.”
Hughes also said, additive manufacturing is a smart option for New Zealand because it is more environmentally friendly than other manufacturing means.
“The world is changing, we need to change with it and invest more in smart green innovation like digital manufacturing.”
New Zealand’s government has already allocated $13 million to New Zealand organizations researching emerging technologies such as 3D printing. Read the policy paper online here. Let us know your opinion of this new initiative coming from one of New Zealand’s leading political parties, in the Green Party forum thread at 3DPB.com.
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