NTU launches 3D printing centre

SINGAPORE - The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) launched a $30 million 3D printing research centre on Monday to pioneer new ways of using the technology for fields such as medicine and construction.

Supported by the Economic Development Board, the centre is focusing in part on the printing of human tissue and biomedical devices such as scaffolds to regrow bone. It has signed agreements with a handful of companies to develop 3D-printed products for their sectors, and is in discussions with others.

NTU also signed a $5 million agreement on Monday with SLM solutions, a leading 3D printer manufacturer, to develop next-generation printers that can print much larger products than existing ones. One day, for example, printers could be used to produce construction materials for buildings. Under the agreement, both sides will also work together to develop new materials, composites and techniques for 3D printing.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Lee Yi Shyan said at the centre's launch that Singapore must welcome 3D printing as a an important technological step forward for industries.

He said the Government sees the technology as a way for industries to increase productivity, reduce costs and create products once impossible to.

"Undoubtedly, 3D printing will be one of the key technologies Singapore must embrace as a part of the future of manufacturing and construction," he said.

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