Singapore continues to see significant investment in the development of its additive manufacturing industry this year with the launch of the Industrial Additive Manufacturing (IAM) Programme at The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), a company devoted to a diverse set of scientific research areas. Guided by the company’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), the new program will work in conjunction with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), previously covered on 3DPI, as well as two other A*STAR research institutes, the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), to increase the country’s competitiveness in the global 3D printing marketplace.
According to the company, the new industrial AM program will work on enhancing the following key technologies: Laser Aided Additive Manufacturing (LAAM), Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Polyjet, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Stereolithography (SLA). Through a partnership between industry and education, the program seeks to develop new innovations in the aforementioned technologies, while simultaneously training students to a part of the new AM workforce.
Executive Director of A*STAR’s Science and Engineering Research Council, Dr. Tan Geok Leng, said this about the program:
This programme aims to develop innovative additive manufacturing technologies and capabilities to transform the manufacturing landscape of Singapore, and rejuvenate the manufacturing workforce by introducing such advanced manufacturing techniques. Singapore is already well positioned to respond to the needs of this new growth area with its established sectors such as the precision engineering and aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industries as the lead demand drivers.
Dean of Engineering at NTU, Professor Ng Wun Jern reiterated the way that his university could benefit industry partners:
Understanding industry needs and developing innovative solutions is key to keeping Singapore’s competitive edge in today’s high-tech manufacturing sector. The Industrial Additive Manufacturing Programme will leverage upon NTU’s strengths in engineering and its long history of industry linkages and collaborations. NTU and A*STAR are well-placed to make this new programme a success. Together, we are poised to support our industry’s move into next generation manufacturing.
The Industrial Additive Manufacturing Program is both a testament to the growing power of Asian countries in the global 3D printing market and a demonstration of how industrial, governmental and educational bodies worldwide are partnering to increase their leverage over this new technology.