Petrochemical company PTTGC developing 3D printing materials for automotive industry with NTU Singapore

Thailand’s leading petrochemical company PTT Chemical Group (PTTCG) has announced a partnership with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) to develop materials for 3D printing automotive parts.

At the announcement of the partnership in Bangkok, PTTGC also signed a research collaboration agreement to detail the first project the pair will undertake.

NTU Singapore will provide its 3D printing knowledge as the operators of the Singapore Center for 3D Printing (SC3DP). NTU Singapore has showcased the scope of its current research as it embedded electronics into a 3D printed drone.

The signing of the memorandum in Bangkok. Photo via PTTGC.
The signing of the memorandum in Bangkok. Photo via PTTGC.

Reducing carbon emissions

By developing advanced 3D printing materials, PTTGC hopes to enable more fuel efficient automobiles and subsequently reduce carbon emissions. NTU’s signatory, Professor Lam Khin Yong, explains the importance of such initiatives,

This partnership is very timely, especially when many countries are developing advanced manufacturing technologies to make more complex components, yet with a greener carbon footprint.

Professor Lam Khin Yong believes with NTU’s expertise in research and PTTGC’s industrial application experience, “together we will be able to achieve new technological innovations and scientific breakthroughs.”

Many automotive companies are welcoming advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing. Ford Motors has recently incorporated Stratasys’ Infinite Build machine to fabricate large-scale plastic parts for its cars’ interiors. While German automotive company Volkswagen is exploring the use of 3D printing for spare part production.

Car interior parts built with the Infinite Build machine. Photo via Ford.

Thailand 4.0

President & CEO of PTTGC, Mr Supattanapong Punmeechaow, was present at the signing and he explained the importance of the partnership from his company’s perspective,

Our company is leveraging its research and development competencies as one strategic arm for growth and sustainability. Thus, we collaborate with both domestic and international external partners to attain timely commercialisation. Under the current Thailand 4.0 Policy, Thailand is moving towards an innovation-driven economy. Both PTTGC and NTU Singapore have mutual interests and complementary strengths, creating synergy for faster innovation.

Elsewhere in Singapore, manufacturing bureau 3D Metalforge has opened the country’s first dedicated metal 3D printing centre as part of a $1.8 million investment. NTU’s current research projects are reportedly focused on 3D printing in construction and medicine. NTU’s Michael Layani has recently been involved in research into stretchable 3D printed material.

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Featured image shows NTU Singapore and PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) signing the MOU. Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Chief of Staff and Vice President, Mr Prasert Bunsumpun, PTTGC Chairman and Mr Supattanapong Punmeechaow, PTTGC President & CEO. Photo via PTTGC.