Applied Research Network for 3D printing being established in Adelaide

The Government of South Australia is providing a AU$1.4 million grant to the University of Adelaide to establish the Additive Manufacturing Applied Research Network. Additive manufacturing is commonly known as 3D-printing.

The University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and Optofab Australian National Fabrication Facility, together with the Stretton Centre in northern Adelaide and CSIRO’s Lab 22 additive manufacturing centre will establish the applied research network as a state-of-the-art, metal additive manufacturing facility. 

The new facility will enable many advanced manufacturing projects in defence, medical devices, dental prostheses and injection moulding to be undertaken in Adelaide.

The metal 3D printing facility is being supported through the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, which aims to assist manufacturers to transition from low cost manufacturing to advanced manufacturing based on modern technologies and models.

The facility will be based in Northern Adelaide. It will house three printers – one of which will be solely used and accredited for medical device manufacturing. The network will also involve the establishment of a plastics 3D printing facility at the City of Playford’s Stretton Centre, Munno Para.

The facility will be the only metal additive manufacturing centre in Australia that’s available to companies on a commercial basis. Access to the world-leading technology will remove significant cost pressures and barriers for local manufacturers. It will provide businesses with a new tool to undertake research, product development and validation testing. Several local companies have already sought access to the new facility.

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister, Kyam Maher, said,The success of transforming the South Australian economy depends on our ability to adapt to new ways of doing things and establish advanced technologies to build globally competitive, high-value firms. Having the University of Adelaide support innovation in industries such as defence and health allows for better collaboration and fresh thinking and really helps promote our state as a world-leader in advanced and additive manufacturing.”

“This facility has been born out of three years’ work by the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the Optofab Australian National Fabrication Facility. Clients who use our current small 3D metal printing facility have had to go overseas to get access to larger printers for manufacture of products,” added Professor Julie Owens, the University of Adelaide Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

IMCRC Managing Director and CEO, David Chuter, said, “We work with manufacturing businesses, research organisations and government, and invest in partnerships that support innovation – globally competitive and sustainable products and manufacturing processes - to ensure Australian industry can meet the challenges and opportunities of the global economy.”

While CSIRO Deputy Director Manufacturing, Dr. Cathy Foley commented,Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, creates enormous opportunities for innovative products to be developed, creating new business models and jobs growth in Australia. In addition to improving lives with next generation medical implants, the success of CSIRO’s Lab 22 has shown that making metal additive manufacturing more accessible for industry provides them with the tools to differentiate themselves, grow and get ahead of global competitors.”

Featured image: Bram Souffreau/ CC BY-SA 2.0

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