3D Printing

Australia plan to shape the future of 3D printing with CSIRO roadmap

3D printing will be at the core of government strategy for the next 20 years according to a new plan. In the first of five publications Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have set out a strategy for, “unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap is the compass that guides our excellent science to deliver the breakthrough innovation needed to re-imagine Australian advanced manufacturing,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall.

Enabling actions from the Australian CSIRO roadmap.
Enabling actions from the Australian CSIRO roadmap.

Motivation for the coordinated effort comes from a desire to see Australia remain competitive in the rapidly moving $12 trillion global manufacturing landscape, but also takes into consideration the environment. Of the announcement the CSIRO said,

As key inputs become scarcer, and concerns grow over the known and unknown consequences of climate change, manufacturers are being forced to consider more sustainable operations and offerings.

The future of manufacturing

To bring this vision to life the federal government agency has highlighted five core technologies that will drive the future of manufacturing. These are, sensors and data analytics, advanced materials, smart robotics and automation, augmented and virtual reality and of course additive manufacturing aka 3D printing.

If successfully executed CSIRO expect Australia’s manufacturing industry to, “evolve into a highly integrated, collaborative and export-focused ecosystem that provides high-value customized solutions within global value chains.” This planned transformation will take place over the next 20 years.

With this publication Australia joins several other countries who have identified the importance of integrating 3D printing with other emerging technologies. In the U.S. America Makes, established in 2012, serves as the, “national accelerator for additive manufacturing” and its roadmap has influenced how other countries are approaching the new industrial era.

The objective of the America Makes technology roadmap is to “identify measurable and meaningful challenges that, when met, promote inquiry, knowledge-sharing, and technical advancements across the industry.” The organisation also hosts regular meetings between the 3D printing industry, academics and other research organisations such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Savings for industry

The Canada Makes program is a “network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing in Canada.” The organisation estimates that adoption of additive manufacturing by Canadian industries could save $4.1 CAD billion annually.

In the UK the responsible body is Innovate UK. The innovation agency works with, “people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.” Over the past decade the organisation has committed $2.25 billion to innovative projects, an amount matched by private investors. Innovate UK will publish the UK roadmap in 2017, their most recent strategic update is available here. Earlier this year 3DPI spoke with the lead technologist at Innovate UK for more information about the project.

The full CSIRO roadmap can be accessed here.