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 specialization.
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 atomization 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 revolutionize manufacturing.” 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 industrialization.
“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.” Dr. Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director of NAMIC, NTU – NTUitive.
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.
“We are excited to partner NAMIC and SPEE3D in revolutionizing 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.” Dr. Rajnish Gupta, Director of Singapore Polytechnic’s Technology, Innovation & Enterprise department.
The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) is a pan-national initiative led by NTUitive, supported by the National Research Foundation under the Prime Minister’s Office, in partnership with SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Economic Development Board. NAMIC aims to accelerate Singapore’s adoption of additive manufacturing technologies to enhance competitiveness in the rapidly evolving digital industry landscape. This is accomplished by translating promising AM technologies, nurturing start-ups, and seeding public-private collaborations with a focus on commercial applications. NAMIC also assists companies seeking capital injection either through project joint-funding and leveraging on its investor networks.