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University of Adelaide to establish $1.4m metal 3D printing facility

The University of Adelaide has received a $1.4 million government grant to establish advanced metal 3D printing facility and accompanying research network. The facility is set to be the only one in Australia accessible by companies on a commercial basis. Upon its opening, the facility will house three 3D printers, one of which will be solely used and accredited for the production of medical devices.

The Additive Manufacturing Applied Research Network will aim to drive South Australia’s mission to be a hub of additive manufacturing. In addition to the metal 3D printing facility, it will also see the launch of a plastics 3D printing location at the City of Playford’s Stretton Centre, Munno Para. They will create a host of jobs and provide access for local companies to manufacture parts for application in industries like healthcare and defence.

Australia is working to remove cost pressures and lower barriers for manufacturers, providing them with new tools and new methods to conduct research, manufacturer parts, and undertake validation testing.

The metal 3D printing facility, supported by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, aims to helps manufacturers as the move to adopt advanced methods based on modern technologies. It has been born out of three years’ work by the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the Optofab Australian National Fabrication Facility and will mean local manufacturers no longer have to go abroad to benefit from larger additive manufacturing platforms.

“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,” said Professor Julie Owens, the University of Adelaide’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). “The new facility will enable many advanced manufacturing projects in defence, medical devices, dental prostheses and injection moulding to be undertaken in Adelaide. This will significantly enhance local advanced manufacturing and we are proud to have been centrally involved in the creation of such an important new facility for South Australia.”

It’s a view shared by the State and is why the $1.4m grant was given to the University of Adelaide.

“We value innovation and we know it drives economic growth and job creation, so this investment is key to creating the jobs of today and the jobs of the future,” said Kyam Maher, Manufacturing and Innovation Minister. “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.”

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