I have been watching — and covering — the 3D printing industry in Korea over the last year and have witnessed various movements and programs including governmental top-down policies such as the “Korean Governmental 10 Year Road Map for the 3D Printing Industry,” and the “Raising 10 million 3D Printer Users Project”, as well as bottom-up movements that have included various 3D printing workshops, such as the F1 STEAM fair, various maker movements, content developers, and of course lots of manufacturers. On this occasion, I am reporting on a book.
CAD & Graphics is an engineering solutions magazine that has provided a dedicated, reliable resource providing the latest information for anyone interested in additive manufacturing, machining, architecture, and industrial design since its establishment in 1993. All of that know-how, experience and network connections accumulated for the last 20 years have been put to good use. CAD & Graphics has compiled a vast amount of the sporadic and fragmented information regarding 3D printing associations, organizations, and companies in Korea and published its first ‘3D Printing Guide’ this month.
There have been several books written in Korea regarding 3D printing, but some distinctive traits of this book set it apart from those others. Building on their strong reputation, CAD & Graphics contacted approximately 80 manufacturers, organizations and 3D printing-related companies over the last four months and involved them in the production of this guide. As a result, the publication is partly a reflection from industry insiders for those who want to read a book that covers more practical and concise information than found in your typical beginner’s guide.
The book is comprised of six chapters. The first discusses the present conditions and understanding of the 3D printing industry. They commissioned ten experts to cover the various sectors that 3D printing can be applied to. Normal stuff, however, it is on reading chapter two that things start to get interesting. This is where CAD & Graphics seems to prove their real worth, at least in my opinion.
Chapter two includes a rather extensive 3D printing companies’ directory. The directory includes manufacturers, solution providers, service companies, educational institutes, and other related organizations. The list is in Korean alphabetical order, and depending on the traits of the organization, CAD & Graphics put organizational marks next to the company’s names to make it more organized and easier to access for readers. The overall list includes about 90 companies and organizations. Their contacts, website, major products, business fields, and a brief description are also all included.
Chapter three covers the approximately 70 different kinds of 3D printers available in South Korea. The guide does a nice job comparing the features, specifications, and prices of each printer, and includes a specific description of each printer also. Chapter four lays out the major 3D printer manufacturers from around the world, in an easy to use graphic table format. Chapter five compares the major software used in 3D printing and chapter six introduces 3D printer build materials.
For me, what was most impressive was chapters two and three. It must have been a strenuous job as it was, but I am sure that without their network and experience in the industry, the detail and information they compiled would have been impossible. Some early Korean readers responded to this book positively. “It is a good guide that puts all the information together,” or “The book helps me save a lot of time researching the Korean 3D printing market,” were typical comments.