The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has launched a $15 million fund to boost 3-D printing technologies.
This is expected to support the manufacturing sector’s growth in the future and aid in mass industry adoption of such technology.
According to the Straits Times, 3-D printing refers to the precise process of joining materials layer upon layer to create actual objects from 3-D data. Such technology makes it easier to produce complex parts. It also lowers costs as the technology is customisable.
The funding will go towards procuring new 3-D printing machinery and support systems, which are expected to be delivered by early 2014.
The global market size of 3-D printing is expected to grow 5 times from US$2.2 billion in 2012 to an estimated US$10.8 billion in 2021, propelled by applications in the aerospace, medical and automotive areas.
Manufacturing remains a vital part of Singapore’s economy. It contributes at least 20% to the local GDP. Industries like precision engineering, aerospace, marine and automotive will especially benefit from this new 3-D technology fund. This is because manufacturing firms in these industries are requiring increasingly complex and advanced production,
This is backed by the rising shares of publicly-traded companies which deal in 3-D printing technologies. For example, companies listed on the American NASDAQ stock market, such as Voxeljet, 3D Systems, The ExOne Company and Stratasys, have seen investors grabbing their shares and sending their prices rising.
Mr Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations, Rikvin said 3-D printing will have a significant impact on future technology and manufacturing trends in Singapore.
“Manufacturing remains a vital part of Singapore’s economy. It contributes at least 20% to the local GDP. Industries like precision engineering, aerospace, marine and automotive will especially benefit from this new 3-D technology fund. This is because manufacturing firms in these industries are requiring increasingly complex and advanced production,” he said.
Singapore could also become a central depository of knowledge for 3-D printing in the region, as well as a global hub for 3-D printing firms to learn best practices and connect with each other.
“In the future, we may see Singapore becoming a 3-D technology hub once the fund has been disbursed to the 6 projects headed by the Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. Foreign firms which are dealing with 3-D technologies may wish to tap into this opportunity,” Mr Bakhda said.