National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) awards close to S$250K grant to Singapore Polytechnic and AM partners to champion innovation in high-speed 3D printing of metals

Date: 18 Jan 2018

Singapore, 18 January 2018 – The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) today awarded a grant of close to S$250,000 to Singapore Polytechnic (SP) to champion innovation in high-speed metal additive manufacturing. This is the first translational research & development grant awarded to a local polytechnic in this area of specialisation.

Additive Manufacturing, also popularly known as 3D printing, includes technologies that use various processes to create 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of materials including plastic, metal, concrete and potentially even human tissues.

There is growing demand from manufacturing companies for metal parts to be produced via 3D printing, in a bid to save resources and raise productivity. But, current 3D printing technologies to produce metal parts are still costly and time-intensive.

The one-year grant by NAMIC aims to address current challenges in producing metal parts via 3D printing, by tapping on the expertise of the polytechnic’s Advanced Materials Technology Centre (AMTC) and partnering with leading Australian company, SPEE3D.

The partnership will combine AMTC’s advanced gas atomisation system that is capable of producing customised metal powders for stronger and cheaper metal parts, with SPEE3D’s world’s fastest 3D printer for metals. If successful, metal components ranging from brackets to engine parts can be produced at speeds of up to 1,000 times faster than conventional 3D printing technologies.

"Singapore is an ideal location to install the first LightSPEE3D printer in Asia. Together with Singapore Polytechnic, ST Kinetics and NAMIC, we can showcase to the world how high-speed 3D printing can revolutionise manufacturing," said Byron Kennedy, CEO of SPEE3D.

Located at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), NAMIC is a pan-national initiative by the university’s innovation and enterprise arm, NTUitive. It aims to increase Singapore’s adoption of additive manufacturing technologies to enhance competitiveness in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital industrialisation. Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director of NAMIC, NTU - NTUitive said, "We are delighted that SPEE3D has chosen Singapore as one of their key hubs for technology development, test-bedding and market expansion. The lack of manufacturing grade metal printing at production speeds, as well as the cost and quality of the metal powder feedstock are huge obstacles towards mass adoption of metal AM technologies. The tripartite partnership aims to address these challenges, and is part of NAMIC’s strategic imperative to develop and introduce market-ready additive manufacturing solutions towards adoption in our industries."

Apart from joint research and development into additive manufacturing and its application, SP and NAMIC will also jointly develop Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses for advanced manufacturing. To be launched later in 2018, these new courses will also receive input from UL and Lloyd’s Register, to reflect the relevant skills and knowledge required in the industry.

Dr Rajnish Gupta, Director of Singapore Polytechnic’s Technology, Innovation & Enterprise department said, "We are excited to partner NAMIC and SPEE3D in revolutionising the manufacturing industry, given Singapore Polytechnic’s strengths and expertise in engineering. This will allow us to help position Singapore as a global Additive Manufacturing hub."

Click here for the press release.

Also featured in:

makannightsoundproofheat-resistanttechnology landscapecapability gaps