While Taiwan may be a thriving and independent island, they do bow to what they consider true royalty these days: the technology of 3D printing. And they are certainly not alone. The Taiwanese, however, are known as the masters in manufacturing of technology, especially for items like laptops, smartphones, and much more. It’s a country centered on everything high-tech–and they welcome and embrace innovation.
Today though, it’s not just about embracing 3D printing technology, they are making it– and history as well, as the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) debuted the first made-in-Taiwan 3D metal printer, the AM100/AM250, at the ITRI Southern Region Campus in Taiwan.
Geared toward the jewelry industry for Taiwan, with this particular unveiling especially, Horng Ji-bin, Center Director at the Additive Manufacturing and Laser Application Center of ITRI Southern Region Campus, made it clear that 3D printing is beneficial to the jewelry makers and manufacturers due to its ability to increase efficiency and speed in production exponentially.
Horng Ji-bin boiled it down to the reverence the technology–and the people making use of it to change the world–deserve, with content as queen, and technology as king.
“With king plus the queen, the product will be the prince or princess, and ITRI Southern Region Campus aims at providing the total solution for all the jewelry companies and designers to do its low-volume production,” said Horng Ji-bin.
Teaming up with Tongtai Machine & Tool Co., S-Tech Co., and Chia Yi Steel Co. with the goal to manufacture 3D printers and materials further, ITRI has also been responsible for introducing binder jetting, sheet lamination, and directed energy deposition (DED) in the area of jewelry ‘printing.’
“[Simplifying] the manufacturing process and breaking all the design barrier are advantages out of jewelry printing,” said Horng Ji-bin.
The AM100/AM250 3D metal printer features a build volume of 100 x 100 x 100 mm and allows for use of materials like stainless steel, titanium alloy, and cobalt-chromium alloy. It retails at less than NT$10 million, which converts to roughly $325,000 USD.
It’s certainly no surprise that metal 3D printing would begin to make an emergence in Taiwan, as the technology, while deemed previously only for the upper echelons of industry due to its expense, is where it’s at for that revolution everyone keeps going on about. 3D metal printers are becoming more affordable, and outside the major industrial sectors like automotive and aerospace, the technology is taking its place in the jewelry industry, offering consumers a way to attain unique pieces made of strong materials–to include varieties of plating like gold and silver, as well as many finishes–and at good prices.
ITRI, headquartered in Hsinchu, was founded in 1973. Their focus is on innovation in technology, coupled with a commitment to prodding businesses along in gaining the competitive edge as well as becoming ‘sustainable.’ They play an important role in the economy of Taiwan, and have worked with over 250 companies, helping many individuals grow into the role of CEO and other leading positions. While working to cultivate businesses and innovative practices within Taiwan, they also maintain a focus on working with a variety of partners around the world.
Discuss the unveiling of this new Taiwanese 3D printer in the First 3D Metal Printer for Taiwan forum thread over at 3DPB.com.