The Australian government, in partnership with 3D printing bureau and reseller, Objective 3D, has announced $2 million (AUD) in funding for a new additive manufacturing (AM) virtual hub. The hub was unveiled by Ben Carroll, the Minister for Industry and Employment and parliament member, Sonya Kilkenny, at Objective 3D’s headquarters in Carrum Downs, Victoria.
“Carrum is a hub for 3D printing and it’s companies like Objective 3D that are leading the way.” said Kilkenny, “This $2 million boost will help even more local manufactures access this ground-breaking technology.”
Victoria’s 3D printing virtual hub.
Founded in 2014, Objective 3D is one of Australia’s leading providers of 3D printers and scanners, from companies such as Stratasys, Desktop Metal, Concept Laser and TPM3D. In the past, the company created Melbourne’s first commercial 3D printing factory. Now the company seeks to further integrate 3D printing into Victoria’s manufacturing industry with its 3D printing virtual hub.
The virtual hub is a forthcoming website, providing access to existing additive infrastructure and R&D capability.
The website’s functions include; a calendar of upcoming AM events, up to date market information, statistics, reports and AM information. It also includes a press centre for promotional purposes, and a news feed, containing case studies and company profiles.
The hub will act as the first port of call for any Victorian based companies wanting to explore AM technologies. It aims to expand the knowledge base of the AM sector, encourage R&D, innovation with 3D printing and promote the AM sector’s capabilities. The hub will be delivered by Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited, a peak organization which represents manufacturing technology suppliers and users.
According to the government, local businesses having access to AM technology will help promote Victoria globally, as a significant hub for industrial additive manufacturing investment.
Victoria produces 28% of Australia’s manufactured goods, with its industrial industry being a cornerstone to its economy, with over 13,000 businesses employing over 283,000 people. The industry contributes an estimated $27.7 billion to the Victorian economy and in 2016-17, Victoria exported $18.16 billion in manufactured goods.
The website will go live on the 15th of October, 2018.
Government investment in additive manufacturing
In a bid to ensure they remain competitive in manufacturing and ahead of technology, governments across the world are providing funding for additive manufacturing initiatives. Last year, the University of Waterloo, in Ontario Canada, received $27 million (CAN) in government funding for its additive manufacturing laboratory.
Similarly, 3D printer manufacturer, Aurora Labs, partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, to advance and commercialize 3D printing in Australia.
“3D printing is a game changer for manufacturing, which is why we’re backing the technology so more local companies can reap the benefits.” said Carroll, “This new hub will help local manufactures innovate, become more productive and excel in future industries.”
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Featured image shows an AM design workshop. Photo via Objective 3D.