SINGAPORE: The first 3D printing centre in Singapore was launched by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Tuesday (May 17).
The Singapore Centre for 3D Printing will receive funding of S$42 million over 10 years from the National Research Foundation's Medium-Sized Centre Grant, as well as another S$41 million from industry and government partners.
A small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by ST Engineering with NTU using 3D printed parts. (Photo: NTU)
The centre will be equipped to print customised concrete structures for buildings, such as rooms, beams and pillars. This is expected to be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than current casting methods.
NTU will partner ST Engineering, Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre, Sembcorp Design and Construction, and Emerson Process Management to collaborate and undertake research in 3D printing.
Mr Iswaran looking at an concrete 3D printing robot. (Photo: NTU)
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said that besides developing new technology with industry partners, the centre will also come up with standards – which are currently lacking – to govern 3D printing activities.
The centre will be led by Professor Chua Chee Kai, one of the world's leading experts in 3D printing, Prof Andersson said. The centre has 17 full-time researchers and 85 PhD students.
Known as additive printing, 3D printing is one of the cutting-edge manufacturing technologies included under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 plan – Singapore’s sixth roadmap for research and development.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said at the launch of the NTU centre that 3D printing is a sector with immense potential with a wide range of applications. The additive manufacturing industry is expected to grow to more than S$21 billion in worldwide revenue by 2020, he added.