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The Asian Adoption of 3D Printing in Manufacturing

By Guo Tao, NX Product Marketing Manager of Asia Pacific, Siemens PLM Software
Friday, April 17, 2015
By Guo Tao, NX Product Marketing Manager of Asia Pacific, Siemens PLM Software
Specializing in 3D and 2D Product Lifecycle Management software, Siemens PLM Software is a California based company.

We all agree –3D Printing is a transformative technology that's shaking up the manufacturing world. Experts who deal with the supply chain process on a daily basis will concur - it has been a game changer and has the potential to allow anyone with computer-aided design (CAD) files, a 3D printer and printing materials, typically plastic and metal powders, to make products and components wherever they are based.

We've seen its potential to alter the nature of business across a range of industries and having an impact on competitiveness between businesses and countries alike in the future. A great example is China. We've witnessed China's move to stimulate and support the growth of their own 3D printing industries through the launch of an industrial park in the southern city of Changsha which is poised to play a key role in the growth of manufacturing and 3D technology. The development is China's first hub for 3D printing technology, and was established with immediate goal to produce 100 sets of 3D printers, and to triple the number of devices by 2016. Taking Changsha's lead, the cities of Wuhan and Zhuhai have announced plans to develop similar industry hubs.

Other countries in the Asia Pacific region have also started to focus on this fast-growing technology. Over the next five years, Singapore plans to invest $500 million to boost skills in advanced manufacturing, focusing heavily on 3D printing. Similarly, Japan announced that it had allocated $38.6 million in funding for various 3D printing projects. Eighty percent of this funding is targeting the research and development of 3D printers capable of producing end-use products in metal for industrial use, according to IHS, a global data information company.

After decades of development, 3D printing has emerged as a viable and affordable technology, paving the way to revolutionize the manufacturing sector that many countries in Asia depend upon for economic growth. But what does this mean for all of us? Where does the real value of 3D printing lie?

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